Coun­cil­lor in frame for Hasluck tilt

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS -

SHIRE of Mun­dar­ing coun­cil­lor James Martin is tipped to re­place Lau­ren Palmer af­ter she quit as La­bor’s can­di­date in the cru­cial Fed­eral seat of Hasluck.

Cr Martin, a Boya res­i­dent, was elected to the coun­cil in Oc­to­ber 2015 on a plat­form of rein­ing in lo­cal govern­ment ex­pen­di­ture and rate rises.

Cr Martin’s Face­book page has been taken down and his con­tact de­tails re­moved from the Shire’s web­site.

WA La­bor state sec­re­tary and cam­paign di­rec­tor Matt Dixon said La­bor can­di­dates and po­ten­tial can­di­dates were re­quired to de­ac­ti­vate their so­cial me­dia ac­counts while be­ing con­sid­ered as a can­di­date.

“The WA La­bor Ad­min­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee has re­ferred the mat­ter to the party’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive, which will meet on Fri­day to de­cide on the process to select the next can­di­date for Hasluck,” he said.

“A de­ci­sion on the can­di­date is ex­pected early next week.”

Ms Palmer was pre­s­e­lected as the La­bor can­di­date for Hasluck at the end of last year and apol­o­gised for the dis­rup­tion her with­drawal would cause La­bor as it fought to win of­fice.

“When I was orig­i­nally pre­s­e­lected as the can­di­date, I ad­vised my cam­paign team that I would need to take time off at some point to deal with a med­i­cal is­sue that re­quires surgery. How­ever, I now need to take more time off for the re­cov­ery than I ini­tially thought,” she said.

“Given the de­mands of cam­paign­ing in a mar­ginal seat and the un­cer­tainty over the date of the next elec­tion, I can­not com­mit my­self fully to cam­paign­ing at this time.

Hasluck is held by Aged Care Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att by a mar­gin of 2.1 per cent and is a key tar­get for WA La­bor at the Fed­eral elec­tion. Mr Wy­att said it was “sad that a qual­ity can­di­date like Lau­ren Palmer has de­cided to step down at this point in her cam­paign”.

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