Campaigning ramps up for State election

Chloerissa EadieSouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: Getty Images

With just over two months to go until the State Election, candidates for the seat of Bunbury are starting to ramp up their campaign.

There are four candidates all vying for the seat, which has been held by John Castrilli for the past five years.

The Labor Party has selected candidate Don Punch who was the South West Development Commission chief executive officer for 18 years and Nationals Party WA president and Bunbury City Councillor James Hayward is also running for the seat.

The Liberal Party has elected Bunbury lawyer Ian Morison and the Greens candidate for Bunbury is Michael Baldock, who is calling for an increased voice for local residents in future developments.

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Mr Punch has started his campaign calling for a strong focus on supporting local business, from the Halifax industrial area to the Bunbury CBD and he wants to see the unemployment rate drop.

“The level of unemployment in Bunbury is a disgrace and unacceptable”, Mr Punch said.

“There are empty shops in the city centre, empty warehouses in our industrial areas and people are clearly leaving town as houses are put on the market and rental properties unfilled.

“If elected, in March 2017 I will be working with industry leaders from all sectors to get Bunbury back to work.”

Mr Hayward has confirmed his support for the sale of Payne Park in order to fund new infrastructure and sporting facilities throughout the city.

“The level of feeling across the board from multiple sports clubs in Bunbury is the poor condition of buildings which are in need of development,” he said.

Late last year he proposed Payne Park be sold for an expected $15 million and be used for residential land.

Mr Morison has supported the idea of improving drug rehabilitation and mental health facilities in Bunbury.

“I am determined that the multi-pronged approach should deliver outcomes for the biggest regional city, especially with the well documented problems our community is facing,” Mr Morison said.

Mr Baldock is calling for an increased voice for residents in future developments and reform of Development Assessment Panels.

“Under the Barnett Government’s planning reforms, the power to approve or reject significant developments has been taking away from locally-elected councillors and given to members appointed by the Minister for Planning,” he said.

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