Tracey Roberts gets her Pearce campaign underway

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Tracey Roberts, who is still the Mayor of Wanneroo, at her campaign launch on Sunday. Picture: Anita McInnes

TRACEY Roberts’ campaign to try and win over Pearce voters is underway with Butler MLA John Quigley adamant she can win the seat for Labor.

Mr Quigley said the seat had always been held by the Liberal Party but there were three reasons why it was now definitely up for grabs.

The first reason was the redistribution in the seat, which had cut all the hinterland and left the seat basically sitting within the City of Wanneroo.

Second was the incumbent himself.

Mr Quigley described incumbent Christian Porter as a prodigious campaigner in the past – one who was formidable and experienced but he now had “lead in his saddle bag” – a reference to Mr Porter’s situation since historical rape allegations were made against him, which Mr Porter has strenuously denied.

The state Attorney General was critical of Mr Porter for in 2020 throwing his lot in with businessman and former member of Parliament Clive Palmer, who took the McGowan Government to the High Court saying the emergency powers to close the state’s border during a pandemic infringed Australia’s Constitution.

The third reason he thought ABC election analyst Antony Green would be calling Pearce for Labor on election night was the quality of the candidate herself.

“At the end of the day all politics is local and there is no better candidate in Pearce than Mayor Tracey Roberts,’’ he said.

During her speech Mrs Roberts referenced the strong community connections and support she has but also said she knew the campaign would be tough and she would have to “get her big girl pants on”.

She was most passionate in her speech when she criticised Mr Palmer for attacking Premier Mark McGowan’s handling of the pandemic.

Revocation motions are on the agenda at tonight’s City of Wanneroo council meeting after bullying complaints against Mrs Roberts were dismissed last month when nine of the 15 council members voted for dismissal of the bullying complaints with six voting against.

If the councillors vote the same way tonight the revocation motions will be unsuccessful.

Senator Sue Lines said about 250 people had registered to attend the campaign launch at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club.

Mr Porter was endorsed by Liberal party preselectors on Wednesday, October 6.

WA Liberal state director Stuart Smith said Mr Porter’s endorsement was ratified at the party’s state council on Saturday, October 9.

In March Mr Green predicted the redistribution changes in Pearce would benefit Labor and could result in Mr Porter’s margin being cut from 7.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

The redistribution involves the transfer of six Wheatbelt shires, including the Shire of Gingin, from the division of Pearce to Durack and O’Connor.

The redistribution means Pearce except for the addition of a couple of City of Swan suburbs – Cullacabadee, Melaleuca and part of Lexia – will mostly consist of the suburbs of the City of Wanneroo for which Mrs Roberts has been the mayor since 2011.

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