Federal election 2019: Q&A with Canning's crop of candidates

Federal election 2019: Q&A with Canning's crop of candidates.
Federal election 2019: Q&A with Canning's crop of candidates.

Less than a week out until the 2019 federal election and Canning's crop of candidates are throwing all they can at taking the division.

This year, eight candidates have stepped up to contest the seat, which is currently held by high-profile conservative Andrew Hastie.

Last time the electorate went to the polls for the 2016 general election, five people put their hats in the rink for Canning and during the 2015 byelection, a field of 12 candidates ran.

The Mandurah Mail has asked our eight candidates five questions each, all in an attempt to help voters decide who gets their number one.

With a record enrolment rate of 96.8 per cent, more than 16 million Australians are set to take part in the national vote.

The division of Canning. Photo: AEC.

The division of Canning. Photo: AEC.

Questions put to each candidate:

  1. What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?
  2. What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?
  3. In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?
  4. Who inspires you the most?
  5. Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

The candidates are in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.

Financial adviser Malcolm Heffernan for Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party managed to scoop up top spot on the ballot paper, followed by former electrician Jackson Wreford for Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Australian Christians candidate Jamie van Bugel claimed the third spot, local lawyer and Greens hopeful Jodie Moffat was placed fourth and Australia United Party's Steve Veevers claimed fifth.

Mr Hastie was down this list this election with sixth spot, which was closely followed by his Labor rival Mellisa Teede. In last position was senior control attendant Brett Clarke for the Western Australia Party.

Malcolm Heffernan - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I have lived in Canning for over 15 years. I currently live in the Perth Hills.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

I will be pursuing the same for Mandurah as for all Australians. Our party is committed to end means testing for age pensioners.

We believe if you have worked hard and paid tax your whole life, you shouldn't be penalised for trying to accumulate some wealth in retirement.

What I have seen in my role as a financial adviser and what has made me increasingly frustrated, is retirees being declined the age pension or having it dramatically reduced due to means testing.

Even people who are eligible are waiting for over six months to receive their first benefit.

We need to look after the people who have helped shape our country.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

I believe unemployment and assisting the homeless is one of Canning's biggest challenges.

The billions of dollars paid to the UN and in foreign aid could be better utilised at home in assisting the Australian people.

Who inspires you the most?

The hard working Australian people who built this great country and made it what it is today.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

Andrew Hastie from the Liberal party.

Jackson Wreford - Pauline Hanson's One Nation

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I live on a boat and spend my time between Mandurah and Fremantle.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

The number one issue I'll be pursuing the people of Mandurah is the cost of living coupled with a lack of jobs and job security. One Nation has a policy to increase the tax-free threshold to 50k a year, the flow on effects, I think go well beyond just monetary.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

That's a huge question because Canning is huge but from the feedback, I'm getting just asking people what the biggest challenge facing the people of Canning, is overwhelming drugs, crime and homelessness all these issues are linked and in my opinion are a symptom of a larger issue facing the entire country.

As for the solution to such an overwhelming problem? It needs to be multi-pronged, I think we need to be open to all options no matter what they may be. Understanding the psychology behind drug addiction is so important when trying to deal with this issue.

We need to understand why so many people are turning to drugs in these unprecedented numbers and then hopefully we can stop people before they get into drugs.

Education would play a massive part in this, aimed as young as possible to try and ingrain a negative image of drugs which would hopefully, if done correctly we could see the benefits filter through in about a generation. Attacking the suppliers is another way which we are currently dealing with this issue and the pressure needs to be kept up on that.

We could also look to other countries which have relatively low issues with these problems and see if we can replicate what they do.

Who inspires you the most?

I'm inspired by courageous and selfless people. Charles Darwin for his courage in publishing "On the origin of species" which at the time a very controversial book.

Winston Churchill who managed to a rally an entire nation at its lowest point. Malala Yousafzai who defied the Taliban for women's rights to education.

Honestly, the list goes on and on.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

I would always ask people to vote with their hearts and minds in a way that best benefits them but if you're asking who I would preference that would be Andrew Hastie, he is genuine and a realist, someone who was and I dare say still is willing to sacrifice for the greater good.

Jamie van Burgel - Australian Christians

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I currently live in Mount Richon and have lived in the electorate of Canning my entire life (36 years).

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

I believe our great country has changed so dramatically in the last number of decades that we have well and truly lost our identity.

Australia was founded on 'Judeo Christian' principles which went hand in hand with the Aussie way of life - A fair go for everyone.

I am running in the upcoming election to provide a voice of reason, a voice that is shaped by my belief in God, a voice that will stand up for all Australians.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and tackling crime. But these are important issues that shouldn't just be talked about in an election campaign. Talk is cheap, action is what is really needed on these issues.

I would passionately try to influence the elected government to take real action on these issues in order to help the people of Canning.

Who inspires you the most?

I take inspiration from many different sources however I am most influenced and inspired by the truth contained within the Holy Bible.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

Andrew Hastie, even though unfortunately this will not be reciprocated by the Liberal Party.

Jodie Moffat -  The Australian Greens

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I live in Silver Sands and have lived here with my sons and husband for ten years, this year.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

Jobs in sustainable and innovative local and small businesses, and reliable and continuous government investment in the same.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

Canning has been seen as a 'safe' seat by our incumbent federal government and has not seen any sustained investment for over a decade - just piecemeal handouts.

We solve this problem by moving beyond funding just to win elections, and by working together to bring to fruition plans that have been in the pipeline at the local, state and federal levels of government for a number of years. We need those different tiers of government to work in harmony, and that is something I excel at - liaison and negotiation.

There are small business, boutique business, renewable energy, niche agricultural and similar opportunities here in Canning - it's a broad and diverse electorate with broad and diverse needs. Much of Canning is not located in urban centres, and I think it has been a failing of governance to act as if we are a southern and eastern outer suburb of Perth. We fix that by building pride in who we are, and the uniqueness of each part of Canning - coastal, agricultural and in the hills and forests.

Who inspires you the most?

My Greens candidate colleagues and our elected Greens parliamentarians.

My husband and children. My sisters, nieces and nephews. My friends and coworkers. People I meet every day.

David Attenborough. David Suzuki. Greta Thunberg. People who peacefully stand up for what they believe, and most importantly, who peacefully get things done.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

I have suggested supporters preference Labor first after us, but I also tell people to preference whomever they wish, so long as all the boxes are numbered from one to eight as required.

Steve Veevers - Australia United Party

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I currently reside within the electorate of Canning in the suburb of Keysbrook. I have lived in the electorate all my life except for a short period of five years between 2003-2008.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

Transport and health infrastructure projects such as the proposed Lakelands Train Station and the upgrade of Peel Health Campus are long overdue.

By pushing for WA to receive 100 per cent of our GST, the state government will be in a better position to be able move forward with these projects.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

Talking to the people of Canning, I believe that the biggest challenge for a lot of people is the high cost of living relative to income.

Canning has a diverse population but this is an issue that is affecting most people. UAP will introduce measures to boost spending and build a stronger economy.

We will make home loans tax deductible, increase the aged pension and make changes to the payment of provisional tax.

These measures will put more money in your pocket, leading to increased demand, creation of jobs and positive pressure on wages.

Who inspires you the most?

Clive Palmer. Clive is a very passionate and inspiring man. He sees that there is an opportunity to make Australia a better place for all Australians and that we should be doing all that we can to ensure that everyone is able to prosper.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

I hope to get enough first preference votes to ensure that I am elected and that preferences do not need to be distributed.

My how-to-vote card suggests that people give their second preference to the Liberal Party. It is however, important to note that people are free to allocate their preferences in whichever order they choose.

Andrew Hastie - Liberal Party of Australia

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

My wife Ruth and I bought our first home in Halls Head in 2015. We've lived here ever since.

My previous career in the army meant I moved around a lot, so this is the first time we've able to put down roots in a community.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

My number one priority is to deliver the infrastructure projects that I have secured Commonwealth funding towards.

I have secured more than $750 million towards roads, rail and public infrastructure.

My job is to make sure that the WA Labor State government gets on with the job and delivers for the Peel region. I've secured the money, now they need to build.

I will be relentless in making sure that the WA Labor government builds on time, on budget and that they give local businesses and workers a fair go. I'll be your voice for a better region.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

Mandurah and the Peel Region has had huge population growth over the past 20 years. But investment in public infrastructure and essential services hasn't kept pace.

We need better roads, train stations and hospitals. The lack of infrastructure has also slowed the growth of local job opportunities, and made it harder for people to access work elsewhere.

Over the past three years, I've secured more than $750 million for our region to help address these problems. That's included the Peel Health Campus, Mandurah Train Station, Lakelands Train Station, Peel Business Park, Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation, Tonkin Highway, Byford Train Station, local aged care and more. I'm delivering more social and economic opportunity for the Peel region.

Who inspires you the most?

My wife Ruth. Her love, support and sacrifice. She reminds me that life is bigger than politics.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

I'll be asking the people of Canning to give me their first preference this election because that's the best way we can protect our region from Labor's big-taxing, industry-killing green agenda.

We want our jobs to stay here, not be lost overseas. Giving your vote to anyone else is a risk Australia can't afford.

Mellisa Teede - The Labor Party of Australia

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

Mandurah

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

Over the past eighteen months, I have been out doorknocking and phoning people in our community and they have said that the biggest issue facing them is properly-funded healthcare.

People have seen millions of dollars cut from our hospitals by the Liberals - $77 million across WA - and if Scott Morrison is re-elected, he and the Liberals will cut even more.

Only Labor will reverse the Liberals' cuts to hospitals, invest $2.3 billion with our Medicare Cancer Plan and invest $31 million in the Peel Health Campus - including a 10 bed Alcohol and Other Drug Withdrawal Unit to help address the scourge of meth in our community.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

If you are serious about jobs, you don't cut TAFE. But that's exactly what the Liberals have done, they've $3 billion from TAFE and apprenticeships, and it's hurt the livelihoods of people in Canning.

Our community has high unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and only Labor is committed to putting WA workers first.

We need real change - because more of the same isn't good enough - and we're doing this by:

  • Investing $200 million to modernise TAFE.
  • Waiving upfront fees for 100,000 students.
  • Investing $5 million into the Mandurah Culinary School.
  • Giving small businesses an incentive to put on additional employees aged under 25, over 55 and carers returning to the workforce.
  • Restoring penalty rates for workers that lost them under the Liberals.
  • Establish new laws to tackle unfair labour hire practices and cracking down on 457-style visas.

Who inspires you the most?

Paddi Creevey, former mayor of Mandurah. I am inspired by her commitment, passion and dedication to our local community.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

#1 to Labor and follow my How to Vote card.

Brett Clarke - Western Australia Party

What suburb do you live in and how long have you lived in Canning?

I live in Lake clifton and have resided in the Mandurah area for 26 years. I've work in both the Armadale and Peel region within that time.

What's the number-one issue you'll be pursuing for the people of Mandurah?

Youth mental health, secure jobs, financial hardship which in turn results in the family structure breakdown.

We have alot of work to do in the electorate and we must focus solely what the people need.

In your view, what is Canning's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?

The $3 billion dollars in GST is not returned to WA annually that in turn results in $187 million not getting to the canning electorate.

Who inspires you the most?

My children inspire me daily with two of them having health issues if they can continually do wonders that is what me want to do better.

Who will you be asking your supporters to preference after you on May 18?

Prefrencing is totally up to the voter I have a guide on my how to vote card but if you dont like the policies of the parties vote with your heart.

Need to know:

  • 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].

Have an opinion? Send us a letter to editor.mandurahmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.