IT’S hardly been an election that’s going to the wire, but the major parties were out making last pitches to voters across the southern suburbs this week.
Premier Mark McGowan was out pressing the flesh in the Bateman electorate on Monday, perhaps after ABC election guru Antony Green crunched the numbers and suggested the once-safe Liberal seat could be in play this time around.
Mr McGowan (who’s dominating presence throughout the campaign led to the Chook’s vote-a-meter suggesting he might personally win the seat of Fremantle without even being on the ballot paper) wouldn’t be drawn on Labor’s chances of controlling of the Upper House in it’s own right, which is about the only substantial unknown heading into today’s voting.
“I’m just completely focused on winning the election,” the premier said as early voters eagerly posed for selfies with him.
Bateman candidate Kim Giddens accompanied Mr McGowan and said the electorate had been taken for granted by the Liberals.
“Bateman has a historic chance to deliver real outcomes for our community by having a strong voice in a reliable, sensible and experienced McGowan government,” Ms Giddens said.
“Mark McGowan and I have a local plan which includes many local commitments to support our schools, community organisations and sporting groups,” said Ms Giddens, an electorate officer for housing minister Peter Tinley.
Opposition leader Zak Kirkup and Fremantle Liberal candidate Miquela Riley made a last pitch to local voters on Victoria Quay, noting that a Labor win would signal the end of Fremantle as a working port.
“As part of Labor’s plans, if they get total control, they are planning to delete Roe 9 and Roe 9 forever and they want to destroy Cockburn Sound and they want to shut down Fremantle port, which really is the heart and soul of Freo,” the youthful leader said.
Ms Riley said Fremantle voters wanted certainty about what the port closure would mean to them, noting it provided 2000 immediate jobs and another 6000 in the broader economy.
“Our local unemployment rate has been consistently above the national rate – including you unemployment, even before Covid-19.
“What we need are shovel-ready projects to employ people immediately, like Roe 8 and 9.”