#CanningVotes: What locals need to know about the 2019 federal election

Get ready Canning! The federal election has been called and we're in for a busy few weeks before it will finally be time to hit the polls on May 18.

For those of you who may be first-time voters or just disillusioned over the whole process - here's hoping this comprehensive guide will help get you through.

Now, if you haven't been glued to your television, scanning the paper everyday or tuning in to the radio, surely your social media feed has informed you that Australian's Prime Minister Scott Morrison waddled up to the Governor General's house on Thursday morning to request a writ.

This writ gave the authority for the 2019 federal election to be announced and set out its date.

After months of speculation over when the election would be held, we finally have a date. And with it, not much time on the campaign trail.

Across the next five weeks, politicians will be crawling across the country in an attempt to woo voters and claim victory in as many seats as possible.

The nation will elect 151 MPs (one from each seat) to the lower house and 33 senators (six per state and two per territory) to the upper house.

Senators have six-year terms, so a regular election - such as this one - means only half of the Senate is up for re-election.

Here in the Peel region, we fall into the electoral division of Canning.

Canning covers an area from the south-east metropolitan areas of Perth to the adjoining rural areas in the east and south.

The seat is classed as "outer metropolitan" and encompasses part or all of six local government areas, with the City of Armadale and Mandurah its largest hubs.

Business in the electorate predominantly centres around heavy and light industry, mining, agriculture, recreation, tourism and forestry.

The electoral division of Canning has a long history. The first time the name Canning was used in an election dates back to 1949 - that's right, about 70 years ago.

The name was derived from surveyor Alfred Wernam Canning, who lived from 1860-1936. Mr Canning pioneered stock roads and rabbit-proof fences throughout Western Australia.

In that time the boundaries of the district have dramatically changed. The current boundary that will apply for this upcoming election was first implemented in 2016.

Canning's incumbent federal member is Liberal MP Andrew Hastie.

The former special forces officer has held his feet firmly on the ground here since securing the seat from his late colleague Don Randall, whose death triggered a by-election in 2015.

Mr Randall suffered a heart attack in his car while in Boddington on the afternoon of July 21, 2015.

The Liberal MP was survived by his wife and two children.

Mr Randall was first elected to the House of Representatives as the local member for Swan in 1996.

He was elected as the local member for Canning in 2001 and re-elected in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

The by-election to replace the former member was labelled as "one of the toughest in Australian political history".

Campaigning ran for four weeks and saw Mr Hastie face off with corporate lawyer Matt Keogh for Labor and a range of other candidates also in the mix.

However, the following year saw Mr Hastie back on the ballot paper. This time during the 2016 federal election.

After his loss in the by-election, Mr Keogh swapped out for Barry Winmar as Labor's endorsed candidate for Canning.

However, Mr Winmar's story posed a similar ending.

Incumbent member for Canning Andrew Hastie. Photo: Facebook/Andrew Hastie.

Incumbent member for Canning Andrew Hastie. Photo: Facebook/Andrew Hastie.

Mr Hastie claimed victory over him with 47,987 to 36,507 votes or 56.79 per cent to 43.21 per cent in the two candidate preferred tally.

Greens candidate Aeron Blundell-Camden achieved 7388 votes and The National Party's Jason Turner managed to grasp 3581.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, 98,894 people enrolled to vote in Canning during the 2016 federal election.

The turnout was recorded at 89.22 per cent, with 4.24 per cent noted as informal.

From then on, Mr Hastie has been the region's federal representative and in that time has made the headlines - for an array of reasons.

Prior, during and before the same-sex marriage legislation vote in 2017, Mr Hastie appeared in publications and programs nation-wide for his conservative stance on the issue.

Mr Hastie abstained from voting despite a survey of his electorate revealing his constituents were in favour of the changes.

In more recent times, he has gained attention for his position as chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security.

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In April 2019, Mr Hastie appeared on ABC's Four Corners program as part of their joint investigation with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald into the interrogation of two Australian residents over secret investigation into China's influence in Australia.

Back in his own electorate, Mr Hastie has already thrown his weight behind maintaining his spot in Canning to sit in the 46th Parliament of Australia.

Across the past few months, Mr Hastie has been on cash injection blitz with millions handed out to various Peel-based projects.

Those include $25 million into the Peel Health Campus, $16 million for a multi-level car park at Mandurah Train Station, two new aged care facilities with a $17.5 million per year commitment, $22 million for the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation, $12 million on environmental projects lead by the Peel Harvey Catchment Council and $10 million towards a future train station in Lakelands.

Less than two weeks ago, he also announced that an urgent medical care centre designed to ease pressure on the emergency department will be built in Mandurah.

The announcement came after the Coalition earmarked $28 million in treasurer Josh Frydenberg's Federal Budget for four sites across WA.

And that's not including funding commitments in the north of Canning.

Like his party leader Mr Morrison, infrastructure and economic management are tipped to be on Mr Hastie's radar throughout the campaign.

With a margin of 6.8 per cent, the traditionally conservative federal seat of Canning is considered "fairly safe".

Despite this, Labor have had their sights set on pulling it from the high-profile conservative since appointing their candidate Mellisa Teede in February 2018.

Canning hopeful: Labor candidate Mellisa Teede with Nina Meneghel and her granddaughter Neve Geatches at the Keith Holmes Reserve when she kick-started her campaign in february 2018. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Canning hopeful: Labor candidate Mellisa Teede with Nina Meneghel and her granddaughter Neve Geatches at the Keith Holmes Reserve when she kick-started her campaign in february 2018. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

For more than a year, Ms Teede has been door-knocking around the region on her campaign trail in a hope to close in on the incumbent.

From the outset Ms Teede has expressed confidence in her chances and highlighted her state colleagues' groundings in the seats of Murray-Wellington and Mandurah as in her favour.

Having been the Peel Development Commission's chief executive officer for three years, Ms Teede has promoted her connections and experience across the region as an asset ahead of the election.

She also has a strong background in the education and training sector, boasting more than 30 years teaching in schools and TAFE colleges.

At one stage she was the managing director of the regional TAFE College in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

Voters can expect to see her strong views on job security and growing education opportunities across the campaign.

Ms Teede also had a stint as an adviser to Fremantle MP and WA minister for child protection, prevention of family and domestic violence, women's interests and community services Simone McGurk.

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Ms Teede has already laid down a raft of promises in the region including funding pledges for the Peel Health Campus and infrastructure projects as well as commitments to the Dwellingup Trails project and various environmental initiatives.

Those pledges include $16 million for a multi-level car park at Mandurah Train Station, which would be matched by state Labor.

Touching down in his "Bill bus" in March 2019, opposition leader Bill Shorten joined Ms Teede and shadow health minister Catherine King to announce a potential cash injection to 'tackle ice scourge' in Mandurah.

Peel Health Campus was earmarked for a $6 million, 10-bed withdrawal unit, as part of the potential federal Labor government's $20 million commitment for dedicated mental health facilities at four West Australian hospitals.

At the time, Mr Shorten was quizzed over whether the 6.8 per cent margin in Canning was achievable for his candidate.

"I've got a great candidate. She's got a great raft of policies," Mr Shorten said.

"Mellisa Teede is presenting a vision to the people of this electorate which is about putting working middle-class people first. 6.8 per cent is a steep mountain but she has got the ability, she has got the climbing gear and she's up for making the summit."

Both Mr Hastie and Ms Teede can be expected to discuss the region's unemployment issues, particularly, among youth.

Greens candidate for Canning Jodie Moffat. Photo: Supplied.

Greens candidate for Canning Jodie Moffat. Photo: Supplied.

In November 2018, the Greens announced their Canning candidate as Mandurah local Jodie Moffat.

The local private practice lawyer moved to Mandurah in 2009 and said she had strong family ties to the electorate.

Among her long list of priorities Ms Moffat said education and healthcare would be a focus.

WA Senator Jordon Steele-John has placed full confidence in Ms Moffat's ability and touted her as an honest and community-minded leader.

Ms Moffat has promoted herself as an alternative to the major parties and has listed education, cost of living strains and providing equal access to quality services as some key focuses.

Mr van Burgel has spent his entire life living within the electorate and is a father to four children.

He is "no stranger to politics" have been a candidate in four selections for Canning and Armadale since 2010.

In mid-March 2019, the United Australia Party (UAP) announced their Canning candidate as Steve Veevers.

UAP have had a extensive campaigning since last year, with including nation-wide television commercials and billboards.

Don't forget to enrol:

Those not enrolled to vote or who need to change their name or address have until 8pm on April 18 to do so.

If you can't vote on election day, you can cast your ballot at an early voting centre from April 29, 2019. Postal vote applications are only available for eligible voters.

For more information visit the Australian Electoral Commission website or call their national contact centre on 13 23 26 daily between 8am-8pm [AEST].

To make a comment or suggest a change, contact our team via editor.mandurahmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

For more Mandurah Mail coverage in the lead up to the election, follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.

Got a tip? Get in touch with her through caitlyn.rintoul@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

- with AAP, Mandurah Mail archives.