It is on, Federal Election 2019


Photo by Razia Osmani

WA Labor

Razia Osmani, Reporter

Australians across the country will go to polls in 37 days. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Federal Election will be held on 18 May 2019.

With the race now on the PM claimed in a press conference, that despite global economic headwinds, Australia’s economy is strong: “We delivered the first budget surplus in more than a decade,” he said.

Bill Shorten, the Leader of Opposition, has told press conferences that if elected the Australian labor Party (ALP) would deliver jobs, better health and education, take real action on climate change, and manage the economy in the interest of working and middle class people.

He said Australians have a vital and clear choice this election: “Do you want Labor’s focus on the future vs being stuck in the past? Labor’s positive plan for all Australians or a negative fear campaign? Do you want a united government or another six years of division?”

One of Australia’s most respected political journalists, Peter Kennedy, told NewsVineWA, that this election could be a close race, and Western Australian votes will determine the election outcome. He said: “I think this could be a tight election and if it is a tight election, the 26 WA seats could be very important. In fact, nearly half of these seats will be in play in the election campaign. Most of them are Liberal-held seats and there is a possibility that they will fall to Labor.”

We looked into the race for three of those seats:

The House of Representatives seat of Stirling  

The Labor candidate for Stirling Melita Markey has been campaigning for over a year, in an interview with NewsVineWA, Markey said, “I have been phoning, door knocking, and speaking with residents for over a year and it is clear Stirling has been taken for granted. Bill Shorten and Labor have a Fair Go Action Plan to take to the election that puts people first.”

Markey is a member of the local community, she lives in Karrinyup with her husband and two daughters. She works in Osborne Park at the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia (ADSA), which was founded by her parents in 1979 as a not-for-profit organisation (NGO). Through her work at ADSA, Markey has worked hard to provide support and advocacy to the victims of asbestos-related diseases.

While Markey has been hard at work campaigning for a while now, Vince Connelly, was preselected only two months ago as the Liberal Candidate for the seat of Stirling. His preselection caused controversy, as he was preselected over four female nominees reinforcing the lack of gender diversity and female representation within the Liberal Party,

Connelly is a former Army officer. He served as a Platoon Commander while he was deployed with Australia’s peacekeeping missions to the Solomon Islands and East Timor. Connelly and his wife live in Scarborough with their three teenage children. In an interview with NewsVineWA, Connelly said, “I’m passionate and focused on our local community and I want to work hard to make Stirling an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

The current Federal Member of Parliament for Stirling is Michael Keenan MP, he will not be recontesting at this election and has resigned from politics altogether. Since the toppling of Malcolm Turnbull, a number of Liberal MPs and Ministers have resigned including Julia Bishop, political analysts have described it as jumping from a sinking ship.

The House of Representatives seat of Perth

Patrick Gorman MP is the current Federal member of Parliament for the seat of Perth, he told NewsVineWA, ‘“Over the past nine months since the by-election, I have been talking with our community about big ideas to make Perth a world-class city. I am excited to continue this conversation over the next five weeks, as well as discussing Bill Shorten’s Fair Go Action Plan for Australia. One of the things I love most about election campaigns is the generosity of people who volunteer to get people like me elected.”

Gorman has been involved in politics since he was 18 years old, he lives in Mt Lawley with his wife and son. He said he has worked on countless campaigns and fought for fair pay, fair conditions at work, and marriage equality. His parents were local environmental activists and Labor party members. His father was a principal of a primary school and his mother was a teacher.

The Liberal Candidate for Perth was contacted by NewsVineWA, however, he did not respond.

The House of Representatives seat of Cowan

Dr Anne Aly was an academic at Edith Cowan University before becoming the Member for Cowan, she is an internationally distinguished expert in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation.

Dr Aly told NewsViveWA “I’ve been listening to and fighting for the people of Cowan for three years. I’m excited for a Labor Government that will reverse the cuts to penalty rates, deliver $154m to Joondalup Health Campus, and invest in 100,000 free TAFE places for young people and those needing to be retrained.”

Dr Aly has worked with the United Nations on developing policies and programs on counter-terrorism and national security, she was also invited to President Obama’s White House conference on violent extremism in 2015, which made her the only Australian to have participated.

Dr Aly’s mother was a nurse and her father an engineer, she lives in the electorate she represents with her husband, and she has two independent adult sons.

Her diverse background spans across education and training, public policy and community work, she is also the Founding Chair of a youth-oriented NGO that utilises youth entrepreneurship and innovation to resolve global issues by acting locally.

The Liberal Candidate for Cowan was contacted by NewsVineWA, however, he did not respond.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said all citizens aged 18 and over are required by law to vote and to make sure they are enrolled and have updated their information.

If you have not yet enrolled click here to find out how.