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New Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes promises not to take votes for granted as he committed to focus more on local issues.

Hooray for Hughes

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

One of the major upsets of the election was the dumping of long-time Kalamunda member John Day, after Labor incumbent Matthew Hughes secured the Kalamunda seat with a 13.0 percent 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.

Mr Hughes said he went out campaigning, face to face with the people in the Kalamunda electorate and it was clear the broader community felt as if Minister Day had forgotten about the locals and they had lost trust in their local representative.

“Their main concerns were obviously the lack of action in the development of more aged care facilities in the hills,” he said.

“There was a clear concern of the possible privatisation of Western Power and residents want security of jobs, particularly for younger people.

“Transport was an issue with Metronet also high on the agenda.”

Although early days, Mr Hughes said he was committed to the provision of adequate aged care facilities in the hills as a priority and determined to see a bright future for the aging Kalamunda Hospital.

Mr Day held the seat of Kalamunda for the past 24 years and he acknowledged Labor’s proposed refusal to not privatise Western Power and the Pauline Hanson voting agreement had hurt the overall Liberal result.

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

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

“As a father of four young girls, I worry about their future,” he said.

“My wife Melanie and I want to make sure they get the best education possible to set them up for well-paid and secure jobs.”

Mr Price started his working life as a FIFO gold miner and worked at an alumina refinery.

He became an advocate in his workplace for the safety and protection of his colleagues over an eight year span.

Now, Mr Price wants to represent and deliver for the people of the electorate of Forrestfield and is committed to securing their future.

“I am deeply humbled to be elected as the new state member for Forrestfield,” he said.

“During the lead up to the campaign, there was definitely a strong move for change.

“I will not take your vote for granted and I’ll always work hard to represent our community to the best of my ability.”

Mr Price said law and order was a big issue within the electorate and he would like to see an increase in police presence and ensure more police stations were open.

“We will commission 24-hour per day, seven days a week operating hours at Ellenbrook Police Station and we will extend opening hours at Forrestfield Police Station until 7pm,” he said.

Mr Price said WA’s crime statistics had surged to unprecedented levels in recent years, with 2015-16 recorded as the worst year in crime under the State Government.

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.

Mr Morton 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, defeating Waddell with a 2.3 point swing.

As the Liberal member, Mr Morton had promised a new police station for Forrestfield and school upgrades.

By Michelle Beaven

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