Linda Aitken wants super clinic for Yanchep

Liberal candidate for Butler Linda Aitken says a super clinic in Yanchep will help patients and create jobs. Picture: Anita McInnes


By Ingrid Jacobson

LINDA Aitken is literally standing at the crossroads of life and she’s happy to take the people she hopes to represent along for the ride.

Right now, it’s her three-year-old granddaughter who is accompanying her door knocking in the Butler electorate.

Almost 3000 homes visited, with about 5300 to go is this plucky Liberal candidate’s aim in a bid to unseat the sitting member Labor’s John Quigley in the March State Election.

In the meantime the mother of four, grandmother of two nursing manager, cancer victor, City of Wanneroo north ward councillor and Victory Life church member is working at the coalface on issues close to her heart.

In a YouTube clip on her Facebook page she is standing at the Karoborup and Romeo roads intersection in Nowergup, hair blowing in a stiff sea breeze, campaigning for the Mitchell Fwy to be extended to Romeo Rd.

It’s a no-frills, homespun video on an issue she says is crucial to Butler constituents, especially teenagers – a group, which makes up a big part of Butler’s socio economic mix –  looking for blue collar jobs.

Mrs Aitken is careful to say she “can’t” talk about election promises for the area as the Liberal Party has not yet released any she can publicise.

But she is keen to talk about her own personal passions, which she has been publicly pushing since 2013 in her role as City of Wanneroo councillor.

Her dream is to connect Yanchep, Two Rocks and the surrounding suburbs with Perth’s exploding metropolis, especially industrial areas, such as Wangara, where starting time is a non-negotiable 7am.

“It’s virtually impossible for people, especially youngsters looking for work in industrial areas such as Wangara and other key areas if they haven’t got a car and that has got to change,’’ she said.

“Getting a job is hard enough without the whole transport challenge making it impossible before they even start.’’

Labor’s Metronet policy includes a line to Yanchep by 2020-21 but Mrs Aitken said she understood the Liberal Party would build a train line earlier than the promised date of 2024 if they got the funding.

Given her battler background and her own achievements it is not hard to see why she is looking on the bright side.

Her indomitable Christian spirit as a member of Margaret Court’s Victory Church is also a big driver as it inspired her to finally follow a childhood dream of being a politician.

Linda Aitkens is one of those go-getter hard-working women who sees no reason why she cannot do it all.

Married at 18 she did the books for husband Vincent’s small business while raising four children.

Eventually she tried to get a job to add to the family’s modest coffers but despite having finished Year 12 with top marks, found it virtually impossible to find one.

It was then she decided to study nursing, graduating with distinction, and later first class honours and then completing a post-graduate course in hospital management.

Today she works as a clinical nurse specialist at Hollywood Hospital.

Given her background it would not have been surprising if she had chosen the Labor way but the Liberal Party more reflected her philosophy.

Next on her political bucket list is a campaign for a 24hr Super GP and specialist clinic in Yanchep, similar to the Wanneroo clinic, which at one stage was her second home while she successfully battled cancer.

“In the next weeks or so I will be fighting for a super clinic to go ahead – fighting is the operative word as I haven’t yet got a promise.

“Having been lucky enough to have the Joondalup clinic eight minutes from my home I know personally how much one is needed.

“It was just after I was elected on council that I found out I had cancer but I was able to drive myself there and it didn’t affect my family.

“If you are living in Yanchep and Two Rocks you haven’t that option.

“Chemo is exhausting enough so public transport would be difficult and for those on a low income, a taxi would be out of the question.

“I know what it’s like to lose your hair and walk around with a pump coursing chemo through your veins – you need all the support you can get.”

Mrs Aitken, who said she is in really good health now, believes a super clinic will also add more jobs to the area, along with serving as a training ground for medical professionals such as physiotherapists.

In June she and her husband will have been married for 39 years and she credits his support for her getting this far.

“Vincent does so much but he is happy to as he has long believed that politics is my calling.

“I hope it is too and first realised that during a deportment class back in high school after the teacher asked us all what we were going to do when we left school.

“Teacher, nurse, secretary, mum were the most common choices and then I said I wanted to be a politician.

“You could have heard a pin drop as in those days I don’t think many women though they could aspire to something like that.

“It’s taken a long time to get here but like always I’m going to give it my best shot.’’