WANNEROO councillor Linda Aitken will be the Liberal Party’s Pearce candidate if her preselection is endorsed by the party’s state executive on Thursday, December 23.
Mrs Aitken’s preselection is the first to be determined by plebiscite in a Western Australian Liberal-held electorate as part of the changes the party made to lessen the influence of powerbrokers after its thrashing at the state election in March.
In a sign of the battle ahead WA Liberal Party state president Richard Wilson immediately went on the attack saying a vote for a Pearce candidate other than Mrs Aitken was in effect a vote to make Anthony Albanese the prime minister.
Mr Wilson said Mr Albanese was a weak leader who would put WA’s economy at risk.
For its part Labor has made much of the Morrison Government siding with businessman Clive Palmer in his bid to open WA’s borders at the height of the pandemic.
When their candidate for Pearce Tracey Roberts, who is also the mayor of the City of Wanneroo, was announced Perth MHR Patrick Gorman said voters in Pearce had not forgotten Christian Porter attacking Mark McGowan and siding with Clive Palmer.
At the time Mr Gorman said Mr Porter had let down the community of Pearce and all Western Australians.
Mr Gorman said the federal government had been forced to reveal it had spent more than $1 million to intervene in the case, including more than $40,000 paid directly to Clive Palmer as a result of Mr Porter’s decision to back down.
In October Mr Porter told Yanchep News Online it was a standard process for the federal attorney general to intervene on constitutional matters and when the McGowan Government said their intervention had been unhelpful the Morrison Government had withdrawn.
Mr Wilson said Mrs Aitken, who is a clinical nurse specialist, was clearly the best person to represent Pearce in the national Parliament.
“Linda has represented her community as a City of Wanneroo councillor over the last eight years, working to make her community safe and secure, supporting local businesses to grow and improving council services,’’ he said.
“The electorate of Pearce is a great place to live, work, and raise a family, but the community in Pearce need an effective and constructive representative who will stand up for the residents of Pearce to get things done.
Mrs Aitken has lived in the northern suburbs for the past four decades where she and her husband Vince have owned and operated a small electrical contracting business.
“Linda understands the daily challenges and rewards that come with raising a family and running a small business.
“She understands the issues which are important to the people of Pearce – because her family experiences them every day.’’
This evening Mr Wilson said after 25 years in federal politics, Mr Albanese had never held a financial portfolio.
“He’s never held a national security portfolio,’’ he said.
“He’s never delivered a budget.
“At a time when Australia needs certainty, Albanese would be a risk to our economy and security.
“In contrast, the Morrison Government has kept our economy strong, provided tax relief to Western Australian families and small businesses, and invested in essential infrastructure.’’
Mrs Aitken unsuccessfully ran against Butler MLA John Quigley in the March state election.