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WA Labor candidate Jessica Shaw, who has won the seat of Swan Hills with a swing of 18 per cent, says she is committed to working with residents.

A Shaw thing

THE WA Labor Party has dominated the State Election with huge swings against the Liberals in the seats of Swan Hills, Kalamunda and Forrestfield.

Swan Hills was contested at the 2008 election by Labor MLC Graham Gifford, but he was unable to retain this marginal seat, losing to the Liberal Party’s Frank Alban.

Last week, Liberal member for Swan Hills Frank Alban was up against the odds in one of the state’s most marginal seats, holding on by only 3.7 percent.

Mr Alban, who held the seat since 2008, was beaten by newcomer candidate Jessica Shaw with a swing of 18 per cent.

Ms Shaw has lived in Swan Hills for over 10 years, firstly moving to Chidlow to be closer to her family and now residing in Mount Helena.

She said the win meant it was time for her to give back to the community as the member  representing the second largest electorate in the metropolitan area.

“Many hills residents had been deeply concerned about Liberal’s plan to privatise Western Power, which would mean implications for the hip pocket with increased electricity prices,” she said.

“The safety of people’s homes is also paramount and the Labor Government is committed to working closely with the local volunteer fire brigades and services who do a fantastic job by providing them with the necessary equipment and a comprehensive bushfire strategy for the hills.”

She is keen to engage with the many community groups, ratepayers and progress associations and get across local major issues.

“The hills is a beautiful place to live and I would like to see that sense of community retained and the hills character kept alive.”

Mr Alban said the election result had been “all a bit sudden” but his time as a state member had been “magic”.

“I have worked hard for the community over the past eight and a half years and I am proud of my achievements,” he said.

“Particularly my work with continuing the building of NorthLink WA, the Ellenbrook and Bullsbrook freeway access.

“I have worked hard to provide the many roads, schools, bus and sporting services that our communities have needed in not only Ellenbrook, but also the Swan Hills.”

Mr Alban listed his major achievements as working with the State Government towards the new $360 million Midland Hospital, the $22m Midland Curtin University and air cooling in all schools statewide at a cost of $52m.

The electorate of Swan Hills covers the north-eastern corner of the metropolitan area.

Much of the electorate is thinly settled, with most of the electorate’s population concentrated in two areas.

In the west, it includes the rapidly growing Ellenbrook, The Vines and Aveley north of Gnangara Rd, as well as Upper Swan and Bullsbrook.

In the Darling Range it also includes parts of the Shire of Mundaring north of the Great Eastern Highway, including Mount Helena, Chidlow, Wooroloo and parts of Sawyers Valley and Mundaring.

One of the major upsets of the election was the dumping of long-time Kalamunda member John Day, who held the seat of Kalamunda for the past 24 years.

Labor incumbent Matthew Hughes secured the Kalamunda seat with a 12.9 per cent swing.

The Darlington local took long service leave from his job as principal of John Septimus Roe Anglican School in Mirrabooka to run as the Labor candidate.

Liberal member Nathan Morton lost the seat of Forrestfield to Labor candidate Stephen Price with a swing to Labor of 11.7 per cent.

Mr Price said he would focus on helping to deliver well-resourced schools, easily accessible public transport and health services in his electorate.

Liberal member Nathan Morton lost the seat of Forrestfield to Labor candidate Stephen Price with a swing to Labor of 11.7 per cent.

Outgoing Liberal member Nathan Morton who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 2013 to 2017, was a school teacher before entering politics.

He first stood for parliament at the 2008 state election, but was defeated by Labor’s Andrew Waddell in Forrestfield by just 98 votes on the two-party-preferred count (the third-closest result of the election).

He reprised his candidacy at the 2013 state election, and defeated Waddell with a 2.3 per cent swing.

By Michelle Beaven

About Michelle Beaven

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