Crime key issue in tight seat
WA Labor candidate for Belmont Cassie Rowe has been interested in politics from a young age.
By 10 she was writing angry letters to Federal government ministers and at 16 she became a member of the Australian Labor Party.
“Sitting around the table my family used to talk about ideas, what a government’s role is and the big issues,” Ms Rowe said.
It was John Howard who inspired her political career.
“I saw the impact he and his policies were having on everyday people and it drove me to get very involved and make sure that we (Labor) got in, and then of course we had Tony Abbott and Work Choices, which had a huge impact on people's lives,” she said.
In her first run in an election in 2013, Ms Rowe lost the traditionally Labor seat of Belmont by a handful of votes.
“It's never easy, but I think you have to accept the result and move on with your life,” she said.
Ms Rowe started doorknocking in August to prepare for the upcoming March 11 election.
She said crime was the number one concern of Belmont residents.
“We’ve spoken to thousands of people … and it’s an overwhelming consistent theme,” Ms Rowe said.
She said many older women she’d spoken to loved living in the area but were too frightened to leave their home on their own.
“I love the area; I live in Kewdale with my husband and two daughters and we’ve got the parks, river, we're so close to the city,” she said.
“We’ve got people who’ve lived here their whole lives, but I think people want to see it do better than this.”
Ms Rowe said people had become tired of politics and politicians because they felt there was a large disconnect between their lives and policy.
A financial planner by trade, Ms Rowe said what made her disappointed in the Barnett government was the way it had squandered the boom.
“I do think economic instability can make people feel isolated; people feel left behind,” she said.