Minor parties have offered up 10 candidates for the September 19 Canning by-election to run along with Labor’s Matt Keogh and Liberal’s Andrew Hastie. Amy Blom and Hamish Hastie spoke to them all except those from the Pirate Party and Family First party who not respond to requests for interviews.
Renewable energy, jobs and housing
Renewable energy, jobs and housing affordability would be key issues for the Greens Canning by-election candidate Vanessa Rauland.
Ms Rauland, a lecturer in sustainability at Curtin university, said more than 50 per cent of people in the Canning electorate had solar panels.
“I want to show the electorate that I’m supportive of that and I want to help give them a voice to tell the Abbott government that we also support renewable energy,” she said.
“Housing affordability and jobs are also things I am going to be campaigning for, particularly renewable jobs.”
She said there needed to be a greater focus on providing affordable housing in a mix of densities closer to transport and infrastructure.
Ms Rauland said education was also a key focus and she would oppose deregulation of universities and increases to fees.
While she did not live in the electorate, she looked forward to working with the area to ensure any future development was done in a sustainable way.
Unemployment major issues
Fees for small businesses should be reduced to encourage local jobs according to Australian Defence Veterans party candidate Greg Smith.
The party was formed last year and Mr Smith, who moved to Piara Waters in April, was its first candidate to contest a federal seat.
He said unemployment and in particular youth unemployment were major issues.
“The Armadale Brookdale area is at 16 per cent compared to Gosnells, which is about 12 per cent,” he said.
“That goes hand in hand with education so I’d be looking at what education opportunities there are in this area because at the moment the closest tertiary institution is Murdoch university.
“My party would also look at having no government fees for things like small manufacturing businesses for the first 10 years or reducing fees surrounding red tape to encourage job creation.”
Mr Smith said if elected he would also use his position to lobby for federal funding for roads in the area, particularly Armadale Road.
He said more federal funding should be provided to aged care services.
Born and bred in Canning
Australian Christians candidate Jamie van Burgel would draw on his long connection to Canning to win over voters.
Mr van Burgel, from Mount Richon, said the biggest issues affecting the electorate were crime, jobs and infrastructure funding.
He supported the widening of Armadale Road but believed funding should also be secured to widen South Western Highway between Byford and Armadale.
“With Byford growing and Whitby now it’s going to be a bigger issue,” he said.
“It may not be a federal issue but it’s important to the residents so if we could secure funding for that we’d be on to a real winner.”
Mr van Burgel drew inspiration from the former member for Canning Don Randall.
“Don Randall was my local member and he knocked on my door many times and to be honest that is a really effective way of communicating with the general public,” he said.
“I also think the mantra Don had of you talk I’ll listen is something that I try to base my politics on.”
Mr van Burgel said he also hoped to use his campaign to encourage a discussion about same sex marriage, which he believed should be decided by a plebiscite.
For the love of animals
Animal Justice party candidate Katrina Love would use the by-election to advocate for animals which she said had no vote despite being affected by about 80 per cent of legislation passed in parliament.
Ms Love would run on three major platforms including banning live animal exports, protecting wildlife and ending factory farming.
“Animal issues are rarely specific to individual electorates, as opposed to issues that might affect voters in individual electorates,” she said.
“Particularly close to my heart is the use of 1080 poisons and related to that the recognition and protection of dingoes, live exports, marine protection – both environment and species, the elimination of factory farming and legislation that prevents the worst practices carried out on farmed animals under the guise of animal husbandry.”
Reduce taxes, promote freedom
Liberal Democratic party candidate Connor Whittle from Bunbury would push for the legalisation of soft drugs like marijuana, repealing taxes and tariffs and relaxing gun laws if elected.
Mr Whittle said libertarianism was a fresh idea for Australian politics and the party was Australia’s only pro freedom party.
“We’re here to end the drug war, legalise gay marriage, repeal taxes and stand up for firearms owners,” he said.
“We want a $40,000 tax free threshold and to cut personal tax rates to 20 per cent and company tax rates to 20 per cent.
“We will also abolishing all tariffs like the cigarette and fuel tariffs.
“We’re very strong on the legalisation of the soft drugs.
“It’s something which a great percentage of Australians do and a great percentage of Australians do not belong in jail.
“It’s a bad policy, it’s a bad war, end the drug war.”
Mr Whittle said even if he lost the by-election the party would win.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness of the party and this different idea in politics,” he said.
He said while he didn’t live in the electorate he travelled through it for party business.
Keep population finite
Environmental scientist and Coodanup resident Angela Smith from the Sustainable Population party would advocate for a ‘better not bigger’ Australia if elected.
Ms Smith said Australia only had finite resources and continued growth would damage it.
“There’s a big push from Liberal, Labor and the Greens to double the population, I don’t believe, and the party doesn’t believe, it’s sustainable to increase it,” she said.
“There’s only a finite pie.
“Fundamentally it’s about sustainable population which affects the sustainability of our environment.”
Ms Smith would work toward closing legal loopholes that made it easier for people to migrate to the country.
“Not students that are coming into the country and are working unlawfully and not skilled migrants who are working on 457 visas when we have people here who are perfectly capable of doing the job.
“We’re talking about maintaining our intake of refugees but reducing the number of migrants through those loop holes.”
Ms Smith would also support the Armadale Road widening project and push for more car parking at train stations.
She said her political inspiration came from all sides of politics, which was why she joined the sustainable population party.
“We’re neither left or right, I know there are good Liberal candidates, there are good Labor candidates,” she said.
(CAP): Teresa van Lieshout would abolish councils and replace them with a federal model.
Van Lieshout talks local government
Local governments would be abolished and replaced with a federally enacted ‘association of ratepayers’ under a bizarre plan by independent candidate Teresa van Lieshout.
Ms van Lieshout, who has a warrant out for her arrest due to failing to appear in court for unpaid fines, said she would abolish the fine system because it was destructive.
“What I have learnt from it and what I have seen, it’s just a genocidal system process they’ve got going,” she said.
“Now I say well I’m going to continue to fight for the next 30 years to have fine laws abolished across the country because they literally have killed and tortured people over this.
“We would be better off scrapping the fines laws and having comprehensive and effective work and community programs.”
Mundijong born Ms van Lieshout has contested the state and federal elections in 2013 and the senate and state seat of Vasse by-elections in 2014.
She has spent almost 20 years teaching including one of those at Armadale high school but had her registration cancelled by the teachers registration board WA in April, which she said was related to her court case regarding unpaid fines.
She said the two issues that had come up the most during her campaign were local governments not publishing economic management figures and restrictive council question times.
“What’s good for a federal candidate is that actually these local council issues can be tackled at a federal level and a state level because local councils are created under state laws,” she said.
“The vision that I have for local councils is to abolish local government acts and replace them with a commonwealth ratepayers association act.”
Ms van Lieshout said ratepayers would form the executive of the association.
“This process over several years of course it would supersede the old system and it would empower the ratepayer with voting rights with decision making if there was an executive of ratepayers running the town,” she said.
Ms van Lieshout wanted to register her Voters Rights Australia party and contest at next year’s federal election too.
PUP campaigns on GST
Palmer United Party’s (PUP) Canning by-election candidate Vimal Sharmer was an unsuccessful candidate for the PUP in the 2013 federal election, when he stood for the seat of Cowan.
He said this time around he would campaign for fairer GST redistribution and fight against the government’s free trade agreement and abuse of political entitlements.
“The issue on GST is a major concern that I have because about $3.7 billion of the GST collected in WA goes to Sydney and Melbourne and the Liberal and Labor parties voted for this to stay in politics,” he said.
“It’s time we stand for the rights of Western Australians because we need that money for hospitals, schools and infrastructure.”
Mr Sharma, who lives in Mosman Park, said he was connected to the electorate of Canning through his work in the mining industry.
“I have a lot of friends and business associates (from Canning) who I am talking to that have also wanted to do canvassing for me as well,” he said.
He said one of the biggest concerns facing the electorate was the cost of living.
Order of candidates on ballet
1 SHARMA Vimal Kumar, Palmer United Party
2 WHITTLE Connor, Liberal Democrats
3 ALLEN Michelle, Pirate Party
4 SMITH Greg, Australian Defence Veterans Party
5 LOVE Katrina, Animal Justice Party
6 HASTIE Andrew, Liberal
7 VAN LIESHOUT Teresa, Independent
8 KEOGH Matt, Australian Labor Party
9 RAULAND Vanessa, The Greens (WA)
10 McCOURT Jim, Family First Party
11VAN BURGEL Jamie, Australian Christians
12 SMITH Angela, Sustainable Population Party