NRI businessman wins local election in Australia

Kevin Michel, an India-born businessman and the Labor party candidate from Pilbara seat defeated sitting candidate Brendon Grylls of Nationals Party, with a 13.7 per cent swing in Labor's favour.

Michel had campaigned on a platform of jobs, opposing Western Australia (WA) Nationals Party leader Grylls' proposal for an increase in the iron ore production tax, according to media reports. Grylls had wanted to increase a 25 cent per tonne iron ore lease rental fee imposed on the two miners to Australian dollars 5 per tonne

"Without the mining companies, there is no community," Michel said during his election campaign. His main campaign platform was for creating jobs in the constituency, and he said after the result, “I was also fortunate to talk with Mark McGowan and highlight our Pilbara issues to him: local jobs, local contracts and community safety. We have a strong team in the Pilbara to fight for you.”

Born in India, Michel moved to Australia 27 years ago and to the region in 2001. He owns an air conditioning business in Karratha, Australia.

The Western Australia state election was held on March 11 this year to elect members to the state Parliament; 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly and 36 seats in the Legislative Council.