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Ocean Reef prepares for WA election battle -

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Ocean Reef prepares for WA election battle

The World Today - Thursday, 4 September , 2008 12:20:00

Reporter: Eliza Blue

ELEANOR HALL: The electorate of Ocean Reef in Perth's northern suburbs is shaping up as one of the
hot contests in Saturday's state election.

It's a new seat, it's marginal and its voters are being courted by two enthusiastic candidates, as
Eliza Blue reports.

(sound of waves crashing onto a beach)

ELIZA BLUE: The beachside suburb of Ocean Reef is about half an hour north of Perth and right in
the heart of the metropolitan mortgage belt, and it's a must-win for both parties in Saturday's
election.

The Premier Alan Carpenter and his Liberal counterpart Colin Barnett have spent much of the
election campaigning in the new seat, which was created last year under the state's electoral
reforms, and they're putting up fresh faces to tout for their parties.

The ALP's candidate, 30-year-old social worker Louise Durack, comes with a pedigree, from the
State's pioneering Durack family.

She's running against the Liberal Party's 28-year-old local city councillor, Albert Jacob.

Both candidates are focusing on local issues. Louise Durack wants a local marina project built, an
issue that holds a lot of weight with voters in this well to do suburb where many own boats.

LOUISE DURACK: The infrastructure project that is on the top of people's minds in this area is the
marina, so they're looking at that project as something that they would really like to see to come
through. Obviously there is an understanding that people have boats and they'd like to be able to
use them on the water and launch them from here. There are boat ramps here already but it's the
facilities that would go with this marina project.

It's also lifestyle considerations, so somewhere local they can go for a coffee and walk down and
really I guess that's, you know, the biggest focus here in Ocean Reef at the moment.

ELIZA BLUE: Albert Jacob is running his campaign from a spare room in his house with the help of
his wife, Cecylia, and he's more focused on securing benefits for his community from the state's
mining boom.

ALBERT JACOB: I think it would be fair to say this is a seat that hasn't seen a lot of State
Government spending in the past eight years.

ELIZA BLUE: Why has it been passed by?

ALBERT JACOB: Quite simply, I think because prior to now it wasn't a marginal seat. It was divided
up between a safe Labor seat, a safe Liberal seat and a kind of marginal to safe Labor seat as
well, so it didn't really receive that attention, I don't think. The northern suburbs in general
has had the attention that it should have.

ELIZA BLUE: It seems the locals at Ocean Reef have other issues on their minds. A straw poll at a
local shopping centre shows many people are yet to make up their minds on how to vote.

VOX POP: Probably the number one thing would be security. We live on quite a main road and come
Friday or Saturday night, there are hoons just roaring up and down the road.

But it's even, you know, at school time when the kids are getting out of school round 3.00, 3.30pm;
you've still got people that are not sticking to the speed limit and will hoon past the front door
as Adam's running down the driveway. So, yeah that's pretty stressful.

ELIZA BLUE: Young father and Labor voter, Jeff, is worried the ALP has let too many people down.

JEFF: Pretty disappointed with the way the Labor Party have run their campaign. I'm a Labor voter
but I think their campaign has been a little bit weak and I'm disappointed with what Carpenter's
done.

ELIZA BLUE: What's disappointing about it?

JEFF: I think that given that there was no Opposition, to have called the election so early has fed
the Liberal campaign, and I just hope it doesn't bite us.

ELIZA BLUE: Political pundits say Labor is a nose in front, but few are willing to bet who will win
the prized seat on Saturday.

ELEANOR HALL: Eliza Blue reporting.