New cabinet grilled

New cabinet grilled

Member for Southern River Terry Healy, Premier Mark McGowan, Member for Jandakot Yaz Mubarakai and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti at Thornlie station, where they began the day of engaging with the community and talking about issues including transport. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Residents from Southern River and Jandakot welcomed Premier Mark McGowan and his cabinet at a public forum in Canning Vale on Monday evening.

Hundreds of residents turned out to the McGowan government’s first community forum to have their say.

They posed questions on topics including jobs, transport, health and schools.

Gosnells resident Bradley Woods asked if the government supported the idea of introducing wage theft legislation to make sure businesses, which potentially commit an offence face criminal prosecution.

Member for Cannington Bill Johnston answered Mr Woods’s question as it fell under his portfolio of commerce and industrial relations.

Mr Johnston said there was a lot of work to be done on the industrial relations system in the state to keep up with other parts of the country.

He said the industrial laws currently covered 18 per cent of the workforce with 82 per cent being covered by the Fair Work Commission.

Student Maddie New from Gosnells posed a tough question to Health Minister Roger Cook.

She asked what the government was doing to assist young people with mental health issues in the City of Gosnells.

Mr Cook said the most important thing to do was to talk about mental health, reach out and allow people to put their hands up to ask for assistance.

“We have a list of services across the state,” he said.

“However, the most important thing we can do is destigmatise mental health.”

A number of other questions were also posed to the cabinet, including improving employment opportunities for young people, transport and infrastructure and in particular the extension of the Thornlie line to Cockburn.

Politicians were put to the test when asked if there would be any future rail connections from Southern River and Canning Vale to Fremantle.

Premier Mark McGowan said the community meeting was a first in a series of events, which he will be conducting around the state over the coming years.

“We want to make sure we are in touch with the community around WA,” he said.

“We want to be available, answer questions and make sure the people understand we are a government for them.”