Martin to take on Wyatt
FEDERAL Labor has opted for a fresh face in its battle to take control of Canberra, with the national executive endorsing Shire of Mundaring councillor James Martin ( 42) on Wednesday to take on Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt in the marginal seat of Hasluck.
Cr Martin’s endorsement comes after Lauren Palmer, Labor’s candidate for WA’s most marginal Federal Government- held seat, quit just months out from the next Federal election because of health reasons.
Nominations were also received from former MLC Bill Leadbetter, who served in WA’s Upper House for six weeks after Amber- Jade Sanderson resigned to run for a Lower House seat, and City of Swan councillor Andrew Kiely.
Cr Martin said representing Labor at the next election was an honour and an incredible opportunity to make a difference in his community.
“I will stay on as a councillor at the Shire of Mundaring. However, if I am elected that will obviously change,” he said.
“The issues in Hasluck are not unique to many in WA in that there are many constituents who are facing cost- of- living pressures not equating to wage and pension increases.
“There are also environmental issues, problems with the NBN and concerns over the conflicting information available to residents wanting to comment on Perth Airport’s proposed flight corridors when the new runway comes online.”
Cr Martin, who has been a WA Labor member since 2009, said the seat of Hasluck was “very winnable” for Labor.
“I am confident the election will be fought on policies and Labor’s policies on GST, school funding and higher education are sim- ply better,” he said.
It has been a whirlwind over the past week for the Boya resident, who was elected to the Shire of Mundaring council in October 2015 on a platform of reining in local government expenditure and rate rises.
“Politics was never my career goal but when you become a parent your outlook on life changes and everything isn’t just about you, so you develop different priorities,” he said.