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West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti says she is excited but focussed on the big job ahead after WA Labor’s landslide win in the State Election. Picture: ANITA McINNES

Rita Saffioti ready for work

WEST Swan MLA Rita Saffioti says some of her priorities after WA Labor’s big win in the State Election include re-visiting the Swan Valley planning legislation and the Water Corporation infrastructure pipeline, which had been proposed to go along West Swan Rd.

Ms Saffioti said she had heard Swan Valley grape growers affected by the Swan River flood in February still had not had any funding come through so she wanted to sit down with the new Agriculture Minister and make sure the correct system or process was in place.

On Thursday Ms Saffioti was given the Transport, Planning and Land portfolios in Premier-elect Mark McGowan’s new government.

With about 80 per cent of the vote counted on a two party preferred basis Ms Saffioti won 67.4 per cent of the vote.

Her Liberal opponent Rod Henderson won 32.6 per cent of the vote.

Ms Saffioti said revisiting the Swan Valley planning legislation would allow the new government to talk to more people about their priorities as she believed the former government had not consulted widely enough.

Labor remained committed to revamping the Swan Valley planning committee or setting up a statutory board.

Revisiting the Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million was important in relation to Water Corporation infrastructure pipeline, which in the plan had been outlined to go along West Swan Rd.

“I don’t think we’d want another infrastructure project taken through the Swan Valley,’’ she said.

She is looking forward to the job ahead.

In the election campaign WA Labor promised to build a new school in Brabham to start the 2020 school year and a new undercover area for the Caversham Primary School.

During the campaign the main issues raised by her constituents included the train to Ellenbrook, a dual carriage way on Lord St and taking a more practical approach the Swan Valley.

She said it was important to minimise the potential conflict between different stakeholders but keeping grape vines in the Swan Valley was crucial.

The 18.3 per cent swing in her favour no doubt pleased Ms Saffioti who went into the 2017 election with what ABC election analyst Antony Green said was a collection of redistribution leftovers, taking in a disparate array of suburbs around the edges of Whiteman Park, north of the Reid Hwy.

“The electorate takes in Herne Hill east of the Swan, the newer suburbs around Henley Brook, Brabham, West Swan, Dayton, Bennett Springs, Malaga and most of Ballajura,’’ he said.

“The electorate then extends north-west to take in market gardening areas of the City of Wanneroo and the new suburb of Banksia Grove.’’

Swan Hills will now be represented in Parliament by Jessica Shaw who won the seat after an 18 per cent swing against Frank Alban who this week said he would consider running in the next local government election for the City of Swan.

Ms Shaw said her focus would be on the people in her electorate, which she said had been neglected.

As well as the train to Ellenbrook connecting Ellenbrook to Joondalup via an east-west bus link and a purpose built youth centre in Ellenbrook were her main commitments.

She said she wanted to set up a community engagement consultative committee, including representatives from schools and police so she was kept informed about youth and mental health in the Ellenbrook area.

The electorate of Swan Hills includes Ellenbrook, The Vines and Aveley north of Gnangara Road as well as Upper Swan and Bullsbrook and parts of the Shire of Mundaring.

Mr Green said the changes reduced Mr Alban’s margin from 5.9 per cent to about 3.7 per cent.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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