TOURISM, the environment and job creation are three key areas of devotion for Mundaring resident and Darling Range by-election Labor candidate Tania Lawrence.
With 20 years’ experience in the hills, Ms Lawrence has been involved in a multitude of community projects including fundraising for Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and the Mundaring State Emergency Service.
She started the Perth Hills – What’s On Facebook page to bring awareness to community events.
“If I am elected I will focus squarely on the community,” Ms Lawrence said.
“In terms of my industry and small business experience, I understand the pressures on the community.”
“I’m keen to work closely with councils in the electorate to track the type of industry that will benefit the community and create jobs and join the dots between industry and community.
Attracting visitors to the hills was another point of focus for Ms Lawrence.
“Tourism is another area I’m quiet passionate about, to really be able to promote the hills,” she said.
“Living here, it’s like a secret, I really want to be a strong local advocate for tourism industries and opportunities we have throughout the electorate.
“I want to be a spokesperson for businesses and sell us to the wider community, internationally and nationally.”
Aged care, public transport, education, infrastructure needs and support for volunteer and community groups rated high on her agenda.
Ms Lawrence said she will not let the recent controversy surrounding Mr Urban and Ms Yates cloud her passion for the role.
“A few people have expressed to me their disappointment about that,” she said.
“I’ve stepped into this because I feel the community does deserve a strong local voice.
“They’ve seen I’ve stepped into this situation and been prepared to put my credentials out there and that’s restored some confidence.
“I feel great, I love where I live and everything I’ve seen coming for the electorate I’m really excited about.”
Ms Lawrence is currently a senior manager at Woodside and has served in the public sector in emergency response management and counter-terrorism.
She is the first Western Australian and first woman president of Motorcycling Australia.
Eleven candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to become the next Darling Range member of parliament.
The by-election will be held on June 23 in the wake of the resignation of now disgraced Labor-turned-independent MP Barry Urban, who won the seat in 2017.
A report found Mr Urban had lied about his police service and education history.
Before the 2017 Labor successful election, the Liberal Party, and one Liberal-turned-independent member, had held the position since 1962.
The WA Labor Party faced another upset less than a week into its by-election campaign with resignation of candidate Colleen Yates after discrepancies were found in her education history published on her LinkedIn account.
Tania Lawrence was announced as Labor’s new candidate on May 31.
Alyssa Hayden will stand for the Liberals.
The other candidates are Russell Goodrick (Western Australia Party), Anthony Pyle (Greens), Jehni Thomas-Wurth (Animal Justice), John Watt (Fluoride Free WA), Rod Caddies (One Nation), Eric Eikelboom (Australian Christians), Stuart Ostle (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers), Doug Shaw (Independent) and George O’Byrne (Independent).
The Darling Range electorate covers parts of the Mundaring Shire, the Cities of Kalamunda and Armadale and all of the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale.
By Claire Ottaviano