La­bor’s Daw­son likely to re­tain seat

Pilbara News - - Election 2017 - Tom Zaun­mayr and Ni­cola Kal­mar

La­bor looks set to re­gain power in the vast Min­ing and Pas­toral Up­per House seat, with polling in­di­cat­ing a strong surge of votes to the party, which has tra­di­tion­ally had a strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the re­gion.

From the cre­ation of the Min­ing and Pas­toral seat in 1989 un­til 2009, La­bor held three of six seats for all but four years.

The party lost a seat in 2009, then slumped to its low­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion ever, just one seat, at the 2013 elec­tion as the WA Na­tion­als ex­panded their in­flu­ence in the re­gion.

At the time of print, La­bor had at­tracted al­most twice as many Min­ing and Pas­toral votes as the Na­tion­als this time around.

With 26,458 valid votes counted, La­bor was sit­ting on 8948 votes, ahead of the Na­tion­als’ 5131 votes.

Hed­land res­i­dent and La­bor’s sole Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son in the pre­vi­ous term is set to be safely re­turned to of­fice and will be in the run­ning for a min­is­te­rial po­si­tion, hav­ing been the shadow min­is­ter for men­tal health, dis­abil­ity ser­vices and child pro­tec­tion as an Op­po­si­tion mem­ber. “I’m re­lieved but also very thank­ful to the peo­ple of the Min­ing and Pas­toral re­gion for the faith that they’ve put back in La­bor,” Mr Daw­son said.

“I’m very proud of the work of not only what Josie Far­rer did in the Kim­ber­ley, but also Kevin Michel, who ran as our Pil­bara can­di­date, and Shane Hill, who ran in North West Cen­tral.

“It’s been a very co­he­sive team — peo­ple have worked ex­tremely hard, we’ve gone out to com­mu­ni­ties, out to towns, we’ve spo­ken about our pos­i­tive poli­cies, and I think tonight is a recog­ni­tion that peo­ple are will­ing to give us a chance.”

Mr Daw­son said he would get straight to work on en­sur­ing schools, tourism and health ser­vices in the North West were prop­erly funded, new job op­por­tu­ni­ties were pur­sued, and Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties were given the chance to thrive.

La­bor’s sec­ond can­di­date on the Min­ing and Pas­toral ticket is Kar­ratha-based union­ist Kyle McGinn, with Tom Price coun­cil­lor Peter Foster the No.3 pick.

The Lib­eral Party and Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion were sit­ting at about a one per cent quota on pri­mary votes, at­tract­ing 4025 and 3639 votes re­spec­tively at time of print. One Na­tion can­di­date Robin Scott is still in the race for the fi­nal Min­ing and Pas­toral seat.

The pref­er­ence deal be­tween One Na­tion and the Lib­eral Party could also be the de­cid­ing fac­tor be­tween Lib­eral can­di­date Mark Lewis and Na­tion­als can­di­date Dave Grills, both of whom are sec­ond on their par­ties’ Up­per House tick­ets.

Long-serv­ing Greens can­di­date for Min­ing and Pas­toral Robin Chap­ple knew he was in for a fight to re­tain his seat be­cause of pref­er­ence flows.

“I liken it to a horse race — there are some­thing like 27 horses in the race, four have crossed the fin­ish­ing line and there are five neck-and-neck for the fi­nal spots,” he said.

“It is lit­er­ally one or two votes chang­ing in the mi­cros, which is af­fect­ing the out­come.

“I am cer­tainly of the firm be­lief that we need to amend the elec­toral act in the same way we did in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment, so we don’t have this ran­dom elec­tion process de­ter­mined by the so-called vote whis­perer.”

The Greens were sit­ting on a 0.37 per cent quota for pri­mary votes at time of print.

A to­tal of 39.88 per cent of the vote had been counted.

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

La­bor Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son.

The Greens' Robin Chap­ple says pref­er­ence flows meant he knew he was in for a fight to keep his seat.

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