City of Rockingham Cr Mark Jones has thrown his hat in the ring in a long-shot bid as the Liberals’ candidate to unseat Paul Papalia in the State seat of Warnbro.
The electorate has been held for the Labor Party by Mr Papalia, who serves on Mark McGowan’s front bench, since 2008.
It includes the suburbs of Warnbro, Port Kennedy, Secret Harbour, Golden Bay, Singleton, Karnup and Baldivis south of Sixty Eight Road.
Mr Jones says job opportunities, transport options, support for local businesses and a bigger police presence are issues he is keen to address if successful in securing the seat.
“I’m a local, I want to push local issues and support local people,” he said.
“I feel like I can fight for more local issues and give people an alternative.”
Mr Jones said the electorate of Warnbro had been a safe Labor seat for “far too long”, which had resulted in “very few projects being delivered” in the area.
He pointed to the stalled construction of the Karnup train station, insufficient parking at the Warnbro train station, and the expansion of urban development in the area without the identification of a future police station between Mandurah and Rockingham as examples.
“(Running for the seat of Warnbro) is something I wouldn’t have thought of 12 months ago, but then the Karnup non-announcement happened,” he said.
“The construction of the Karnup train station was a major election promise.
“With Andrew Hastie in Canning securing a station for Lakelands, I feel we’ve missed out. I think the Karnup train station should still happen . . . a lot of people are disappointed as they have bought into the area hoping construction would start this year.”
With a background in town planning, Mr Jones said he was passionate about creating a better community and finding a balance between protecting the environment and supporting growth.
“I believe in government that assists and connects rather than hinders and interferes in your daily life, our local businesses and community groups,” he said.
Mr Jones contested Barry Sammels for the position of City of Rockingham Mayor last October, but missed out on the leadership role by one vote.
He said he would step down from the council if he won the seat at the March 2021 election.