Councillor in frame for Hasluck tilt
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”.