The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies has paid tribute to Party stalwart Hon Murray Criddle who was awarded a Medal in the General Division of the Order of Australia this week.
Mr Criddle served four consecutive terms in Parliament from 1993 to 2008 as Member for the Agricultural Region in the Legislative Council.
Ms Davies said Mr Criddle established a reputation as a fierce advocate for regional issues during his 15 years in State Parliament.
“Murray never left you wondering whose side he was on – he was unabashed in his passion for regional WA and worked extremely hard for his constituents,” Ms Davies said.
“He is a living legend of The Nationals in WA and has the respect of our Parliamentary team and membership across the State for his continued support and commitment to championing regional WA.”
Mr Criddle’s parliamentary career included a term as Transport Minister in the Court-Cowan Government from 1998 to 2001.
“As Minister he played an important role developing the landmark Graham Farmer Freeway, widening the Narrows Bridge, extending the Kwinana Freeway and many other improvements to port, road, rail, airport and recreational boating infrastructure and projects around the State,” Ms Davies said.
“Under his tenure the volume of container trade at Fremantle Port almost doubled and total trade increased by 30 per cent.”
Mr Criddle’s involvement with government at all levels spanned almost a quarter century. In 2009 he was appointed Chairman of the Mid West Development Commission, a position he continued in until June 2017.
During his MWDC tenure Mr Criddle played a leading role developing the $220 million Royalties for Regions Mid West Investment Plan, which funded important economic, social and community infrastructure.
Ms Davies said the Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory power station, Foodbank’s Geraldton headquarters, Beresford Foreshore redevelopment, Wubin Mullewa Road upgrade, Pioneer Lodge expansion and Yalgoo Community Hub were just some of the projects funded through the MWIP.
Current Nationals WA Member for the Agricultural Region Martin Aldridge said outside of Parliament, Mr Criddle had always been closely engaged with his local community.
“During his farming career at Balla, which started in 1961, he served as Binnu Branch President of the WA Farmers Federation as well as a range of other roles – Secretary of the Binnu and Ajana branches and Northern Zone, and he sat on the General and Coarse Grain executives of WAFF,” Mr Aldridge said.
“He also served as President of the Binnu Primary School P&C and following his extensive parliamentary career, has been an approachable figure in the community assisting individuals and not-for-profit groups.”
In 2016 Mr Criddle was bestowed the honour of Life Membership to The National WA for his 40 years of continuous involvement.