FREMANTLE MP Josh Wilson was re-elected to federal Parliament last Saturday as a member of the new Labor government along with several new WA colleagues.
As the Chook went to the printers, Mr Wilson was leading the two-party preferred vote with 67.2 per cent of the vote – a 10.3 per cent swing since the 2019 election.
“I believe our strong result reflected both the work we’ve done locally and the understandable desire in the community for a change.” Mr Wilson said.
The swing in Fremantle is consistent with the overall trend in WA which delivered Labor victories in the traditionally Liberal seats of Swan, Pearce, Hasluck and the neighbouring electorate of Tangney.
Asked about his role in the new Albanese government, Mr Wilson said the decision was up to the Caucus and leader.
However, he did say he was ready for a ministry if asked: “I would love to continue making a contribution as part of the executive, in keeping with the work I have done to good effect over the last three years,” he said.
During the campaign, Mr Wilson attended a QnA session at Notre Dame University with six other candidates in which he stressed the need for more urgent climate action. “That’s what I will devote most of my time to.”
He has said he’ll also focus on positive changes, including delivery of a fibre NBN and the properly managed transition out of the live sheep trade.
Mr Wilson was a councillor and later deputy mayor of Fremantle between 2009 and 2016 before contesting and winning the federal seat in 2016.
He was among several MPs who resigned due to citizenship concerns in 2018 but was re-elected in the Fremantle by-electorate that same year.
The new Ministry is expected to be finalised by next Monday, May 30.
Over in Tangney, Ben Morton said his goodbyes after losing the seat he has held since 2016, saying it had been an “absolute honour and privilege” to serve his constituency.
“I have spoke to Sam Lim and congratulated him for being elected as the Member of Tangney,” Mr Morton said.
“Asta and I, along with our kids, look forward to continuing to live in this wonderful community that we have the privilege to call home.”
Mr Lim took the seat with an 11.2 per cent swing, finishing with 51.77 per cent of the two party preferred vote.
A Labor insider said he had a feeling about the result after visiting Mr Lim’s campaign office to to see him working the phones in one of the 10 languages in which he’s fluent.
“He’s just got this energy,” he said.
His connection with the seat’s growing ethnic vote obviously troubled his opponent, with the Liberal party throwing late promises towards community facilities for Sikh, Hindu and Chinese communities.
Amongst the minor parties, the Greens had a good showing in Fremantle to pick up a 1.6 per cent swing to edge closer to 18 per cent of the vote, and even Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party dialled it up a tiny notch – 0.07 per cent. But One Nation’s vote slipped back along with the fledgling Western Australia Party.
It was a similar story in Tangney, though the Greens vote was pretty static at about 11 per cent.
by LUKE COMMINS and STEVE GRANT