Carnarvon businesswomen Merome ‘Mem’ Beard endorsed as Nationals WA candidate for North West Central

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Merome Beard pictured with WA Nationals leader Mia Davies. Merome has nominated to be the Nationals’ candidate for the North West Central by-election.
Camera IconMerome Beard pictured with WA Nationals leader Mia Davies. Merome has nominated to be the Nationals’ candidate for the North West Central by-election. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Carnarvon publican Merome Beard has been officially endorsed as the Nationals WA candidate for the North West Central by-election, due to be called in coming weeks.

The Nationals on Wednesday confirmed the mother of four would run in the seat being vacated by long-time MP Vince Catania.

Ms Beard has owned the Port Hotel in Carnarvon for 20 years and her family ties to the Gascoyne region date back four generations. She also competed as a rower at the Australian Institution of Sport in the 90s and went to the 1994 World Championships.

Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said Ms Beard “fits the bill perfectly” to represent the sprawling electorate.

“She has extensive experience as a small business owner in the hospitality sector, links to the pastoral industry, and has been involved with numerous community organisations,” she said.

“Born and bred in the North West, Merome has lived and worked in the region and understands the challenges and the opportunities these communities face.”

Ms Beard promised to be a voice for regional WA if elected to Parliament.

North West Central MP Vince Catania, right, pictured with wife Dani Catania and their dog Maggie, in Perth.
Camera IconNorth West Central MP Vince Catania, right, pictured with wife Dani Catania and their dog Maggie, in Perth. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

“As a small business owner and employer, I understand payroll tax is a handbrake on growth and worker shortages are driving businesses into the ground,” she said.

“Access to housing and accommodation should be a priority, as should basic health services like being able to have a baby locally, but these issues have been ignored by the Labor Government and they shouldn’t be rewarded for this neglect.

“We don’t need another voiceless backbencher in the Labor Government, the electorate needs a strong and fierce local voice to get what the region deserves and to hold the McGowan Labor Government to account.”

Mr Catania earlier this month announced his retirement from politics after 17 years.

He held onto North West Central — which also includes Kalbarri and Exmouth — by 259 votes last year, withstanding an 8.4 per cent swing to Labor at the height of Mr McGowan’s pandemic popularity.

Despite the ALP’s success in WA at last month’s Federal election, it is not known if State Labor will contest the by-election.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails