Martin to take on Wy­att

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS - Sarah Brookes

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.

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