MT LAWLEY Liberal MP Michael Sutherland knows he faces a fight to retain his seat this election.
In 2008 he managed one of the biggest swings in the state to wrest it from Labor and gained more ground in 2013, but that margin’s dwindled a little to 8.9 per cent.
In his typical colourful turn of phrase he described his election battle to a forum of parents at Perth Modern School this week:
“I’m in the trenches, I’ve got my hard hat on and my bayonet out, because I don’t really get preferences other than from the Australian Christians,” who barely managed two per cent at the last election.
The former lawyer and veteran polly has been in politics a long time, first elected to the Johannesburg City Council in 1982 for the Progressive Federal Party.
They were anti-apartheid and at the time they were known by the acronym PFP which their far-right opponents claimed stood for “Packing for Perth” since so many of them were emigrating to Australia.
Fate followed the jibe and Mr Sutherland came here in 1988, was elected to Perth council in 1995, then became deputy mayor, then Mount Lawley MP, and then speaker of the house.
LABOR Mt Lawley candidate Simon Millman has had a controversy-free campaign, scoring support from local groups by securing funding pledges for the likes of the Mount Lawley Society, sports clubs, and this week announcing a Labor government would give $120,000 to RTRFM to support community radio.
He has a stiff 8.9 per cent margin to knock down to win the seat, but the bookies reckon he can take Mt Lawley for team red.
GREENS Mt Lawley candidate Matt Roberts has been a labourer, worked in warehouses, call centres, a creche and as a disability support worker.
He came to Australia when he was 10 and not long after coming here his mother died of cancer, so he’s big on a strong public health system.
ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY Mt Lawley candidate Kandi Revian is a long-time animal lover who worked as a vet nurse in an animal surgery clinic.