Schoolteacher ready to move into Upper House

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Sandra Carr in the kitchen 'garden' of her Beachlands home.
Camera IconSandra Carr in the kitchen 'garden' of her Beachlands home. Credit: Supplied

Geraldton high school teacher Sandra Carr is preparing for a career change, after it looks like she’s on track to claim an Upper House seat for Labor from the unlikely No.3 spot on the red ticket.

Ms Carr, an English teacher at Nagle Catholic College, is “cautiously optimistic” about claiming victory.

With the retirement of Geraldton identity and Labor MLC Laurie Graham, Esperance councillor Shelley Payne replaced him at Labor’s No.2 spot on the party’s Upper House ticket.

Preliminary results show Geraldton could still have a local MLC in Ms Carr, who often said she never expected to crack the “unwinnable” third position for Labor.

With six spots up for grabs, two wins can be safely called for Labor — incumbent Darren West and Ms Payne, and one for the Nationals in Colin de Grussa. With 57.27 per cent of the vote counted, the fourth fifth and six spots appear to have gone to Ms Carr, Liberal Steve Martin and Nationals incumbent Marty Aldrige.

Ms Carr said: “I am just so happy to have been part of that team, it has been a fantastic experience and that’s a win in itself.”

However, Ms Carr said she was “pleasantly surprised” at Labor’s unexpectedly high vote as she said her goal had been to help get Lara Dalton elected for Geraldton.

“I asked to be No.3 to be part of the team,” she said.

“I knew it would be a slog and an outside chance, but getting elected to the Upper House was the icing on the cake.”

When asked about the role she might take in the new Parliament, Ms Carr said she would welcome any opportunity to pursue her interests in education and health.

“The further away from the city you are the more difficult it is to achieve the education outcomes you aspire to,” she said.

“And also mental health, the further you move away from the city the more complicated it becomes to address that.

“You only have to look at our awful rates of suicide out in the bush to know we are not getting that right.”

The Agricultural Region takes in much of WA’s grain belt, stretching from Northampton to Esperance including the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shire of Northam.

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