IT’S been a fierce fight for the state seat of Perth: front yards are peppered with six-foot high signs of Labor candidate John Carey’s noggin and Perth Liberal MP Eleni Evangel’s glossy brochures fill letterboxes — sometimes several at a time.
Ms Evangel won the Perth seat with a big 12 per cent swing in 2013, but it’ll be a tough fight to keep it as her margin has narrowed to less than three percent.
Ms Evangel tells us her opponent, Mr Carey, might be good at spruiking his achievements, but she’s preferred to shun self-promotion, quietly helping out locals over the past few years.
Her re-election campaign has been focused around the Liberal party delivering economy and tourism boosters like Elizabeth Quay, the impending Perth City Link, Perth stadium and Kings Square.
Mr Carey is the bookies’ favourite to win the seat, having built up a lot of local goodwill (and only a couple of vocal detractors) in his time as Vincent mayor.
He says as mayor he was often coming across issues that needed state-level intervention to solve and his campaign’s already seen pledges to support local issues like fixing up the horrid Scarborough Beach Road/Green Street intersection and to help pay for a new town square for North Perth.
Witnessing the Development Assessment Panel approve overly-large unit blocks during his stint as mayor has caused him to deviate from Labor policy by calling for the DAPs to be dumped.
GREENS’ Perth candidate Hannah Milligan says her work in criminal law has given her an insight into the damage done when essential services like public education and the healthcare system fail.
The Greens traditionally do decently in the Perth seat, nabbing 12 per cent of the primary vote last time round (with most of those ultimately feeding into Labor’s numbers).
The ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY Perth candidate Matt Hanson is a science graduate and board member of the vegan animal rights organisation Animal Liberation WA. The AJP’s running on a policy of halting live export, banning greyhound racing, protecting wildlife (banning the use of 1080, giving the dingo protected status, and non-lethal measures for shark attacks) and outlawing puppy mills.
JULIE MATHESON FOR WA is running architect, heritage and planning expert Ian Molyneux in the Perth seat.
Having once chaired the WA Heritage Council, Mr Molyneux says he came out of the woodwork after watching the DAPs approve big towers in quiet residential suburbs in Perth.
Along with their “scrap the DAP” policy, the party started by Ms Matheson (a Subiaco councillor), also wants the State Administrative Tribunal and the Building Commission gone, and several members also have gripes with the family court.
MICRO BUSINESS PARTY Perth candidate Archie Hyde runs his own business working as a service provider to the energy and civil infrastructure sectors.
He says small business needs more of a say in the decision-making process, having suffered during this recession because of a lack of foresight and good management of the state government.
The MBP formed because they reckon Labor’s got the union’s interests at heart and the Liberal party is dominated by the big end of town, and are backed by many taxi drivers (you would’ve seen their ads plastered across Perth cabs in recent months).
Why’s Mr Hyde’s photo squashed? We’re not sure, that’s how it came. Maybe a statement on their plan to squash red tape.
FLUX THE SYSTEM! Perth candidate Ben Ballingall is a politics and international relations student.
The Flux platform is an oddity: rather than having a slew of policies, they let members digitally vote on how their representative should vote in parliament.
One of their candidates explained “as a Flux representative, I am prepared to give up my autonomy and vote according to the wishes of the people, expressed via the Flux app”.
The Flux party has also stacked the upper house card with a bunch of undeclared candidates to improve their chances of getting someone in through arcane preference deals: up to 26 of the “independent” candidates in the upper house ticket are actually Flux-sympathisers, and sticking a one in their box above the line will mean your preference goes to Flux.
on the hustings, by DAVID BELL