Vale Don Randall 1953 – 2015

Vale Don Randall 1953 – 2015

1682

Don Randall’s unexpected death will leave a gaping hole in his federal electorate of Canning.

Without any warning he became a part of history on Tuesday, dying suddenly from a suspected heart attack while going about his federal politician duties.

While his comments about former WA police minister Rob Johnson, the expense scandal and more recently his call for a Tony Abbott leadership spill broke national headlines, he worked tirelessly in his electorate for 14 years.

Mr Randall, who was born in Merredin in 1953, worked as a teacher before entering politics in 1996 as member for Swan and winning the seat of Canning in 2001.

He secured funding to bring CCTV to central Armadale prior to 2007 with more funding secured over the years.

His 2007 campaign also saw him push for youth training, more police in Armadale, he addressed environmental concerns such as the Wungong water project and pushed for the completion of the Perth to Bunbury freeway.

He won the 2007 election with 55.58 per cent of the vote on a two party preferred system but his biggest battle for the seat was yet to come.

He managed to stare down the barrel of Labor candidate and former member for Armadale Alannah MacTiernan at the 2010 election.

He won with 52.19 per cent of the vote, with a 2.2 per cent swing against him.

Mr Randall doorknocked the electorate to stand true to his motto of ‘you talk, I’ll listen’.

During the campaign he secured a grant so residents from the Rowley Brook retirement village could drink their tap water without it being contaminated with traces of human faeces.

The grant allowed them to connect to water mains instead of drinking the contaminated bore water.

In his campaign he tackled the asylum seeker issue, law and order and the mining tax. He promised $5 million for a white water park at Champion Lakes but the venture never got off the ground.

In 2011 he expressed his fury that Kelmscott-Roleystone bushfire victims were expected to pay the flood levy and they were later exempted from the tax.

Mr Randall also campaigned successfully to have all demolitions funded in the aftermath of the fire.

In 2012 Mr Randall completed a walk for autism throughout the electorate where he visited more than 40 schools and raised $20,000.

As a former special needs teacher he said it was crucial for people to understand the pressure families with an autistic child face.

Mr Randall gained much more ground at the 2013 election, securing 64.8 per cent of the vote and a 9.6 per cent swing in his favour – the largest in WA and one of the biggest in the country.

Since then Mr Randall championed several community causes federally including black spot funding and $170,000 more for CCTV in the Armadale CBD.

In 2013 he was successful in lobbying for a flight path change trail to reduce the number of flights over Roleystone and Karragullen.

Throughout 2014 and 2015 he helped the Armadale RSL retrieve a war memorial trophy gun for the Armadale memorial park.

In April this year Mr Randall helped the City of Armadale retain $160,000 per annum worth of federal funding at risk for the champion centre, which provides programs for indigenous people.

He also secured a green army project in Darling Downs, $245,000 for the Byford country club and more for road projects and bridges.

Funding for schools included $1.6 million for the construction of Byford Catholic college.

In the lead up to the 2013 election Mr Randall told the Examiner he was still excited by his role as a federal member.

“Don Randall, me, is not important but if I use (the position) well it gives me the authority to get a lot done on behalf of the people I represent,” he said.

“At the end of the day a lot of members of parliament think it’s all about them and they get grandiose ideas of their own star quality and importance, for somebody who has lost his seat once I have no illusions about how unimportant an individual is.”

– Robyn Molloy and Hamish Hastie