Born in February 1961 in Bunbury Rick was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council as a Shooters and Fishers Party member for the Agricultural Region at the 2013 state election.
With his wife Brenda they run a farm in Harvey. Prior to entering Parliament he spent 22 years in the property business, commencing in 1984. He has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing and generally enjoying the bush.
He decided in 2006 that it was time for a sea change and sold all his business interests and took some time out after a grueling business career. With more time available to spend with his 5 adult children and 5 granddaughters Rick indulged in fishing and hunting as major past times.
Over the years he became acutely aware of the plight facing the hunting and fishing community from people bent on disseminating misleading and emotive propaganda in an effort to sway public opinion against shooters, hunters, fishers and 4WD enthusiasts in general.
He completed the University of Queensland’s “Game Management the science of sustainable use” course in 2009. Although a difficult task in the current political climate in WA, he has a keen interest in the management of game species to the benefit and satisfaction of landholders, hunters and government agencies alike.
Hunters in Western Australia have struggled with a government culture that is sceptical at best towards hunters and firearms users who have lacked any real representation in parliament towards educating and improving sentiment.
With the banning of duck shooting seasons in the mid-90s there is now no policy or structure at all in WA in regard to hunting. There are large tracks of state managed lands with many areas suffering with an overabundance of pest animals yet the concept of using recreational hunters as part of the solution is a foreign concept that most government officials can’t grasp.
A huge effort is needed to try and redirect the mindset of the system and Rick believes that this can only be achieved through political representation.
Many of the problems that hunters and firearms users have experienced is now spilling over to fishing and other outdoor endeavours where ideology is taking over from common sense and credible research.
The Shooters and Fishers Party this year celebrates 20 years in the NSW parliament and now has parliamentary representation in Western Australia and Victoria.