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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6239

Mr HASTIE (Canning) (19:55): I would like to congratulate Alyssa Hayden, the newly-elected member for Darling Range, who was successful on Saturday in the state by-election in the seat of Darling Range, which is in the north of Canning. She's a very passionate and experienced candidate, having previously been an upper house member in the WA state parliament. I know she will serve the people of Darling Range very well.

I must say, though, that it was a pretty low bar for candidates to establish trust. You just had to be the person you said you were. Alyssa ticked that box. But she is much, much more. I know she is going to be a wonderful advocate for the people of Darling Range. This was always going to be an uphill fight for us. Less than 18 months ago Labor won Darling Range in a landslide. We started six per cent behind in the polls and managed to achieve a nine per cent swing against the Labor government, 14 months or so after they'd been elected. The other night Alyssa said: 'Being a good local member is about your community and delivering for the people and listening to their needs. It's as simple as that.' I know she's going to do just that.

This result is a repudiation of the McGowan Labor government. At the start of this campaign the Labor government was desperate to tell us that the by-election wasn't about Barry Urban, the previous member—that he wasn't the issue and there was nothing to see here. Now that they've lost, Labor have changed their tune and are leaning on Barry Urban's lies as an excuse for their failure. In part, that is true. The people of Darling Range put their trust in him back in 2017 and it took less than 12 months for Labor to break that trust.

But it would be a mistake to say that was the only reason voters abandoned Labor in Darling Range. The campaign was a repudiation of the McGowan government by the families, seniors and first-home-owners who were wearing Labor's increases to the cost of living—bigger power and water bills that have hit WA households by up to an extra $700, which is $700 that people don't have and can't afford to pay.

People are also sick of the spin. A lot of lies have been peddled throughout the campaign. Probably the most outstanding lie peddled by Labor was that 'only Labor will bring the train station to Byford'. This is just a flat-out lie. The Byford rail line has been secured, thanks to a funding partnership with the federal government. The coalition has committed $241 million to ensure that the Byford train station project can go ahead. I refer to Budget Paper No.2, part 2, at page 144—it's there on the page, funded this year. Labor, it seems, would prefer that this money didn't exist. People are just sick of the lies and they just want to see results.

Finally, Labor did not listen to the community throughout the campaign. They ignored one major issue that the people have brought up with Alyssa and me again and again, and that issue is the extension of the Tonkin Highway. In brief, the extension of the Tonkin Highway is an essential infrastructure upgrade for the people of Serpentine and Jarrahdale. It will extend the highway from its current terminus at Thomas Road, west of Byford, and connect it to the South Western Highway, south of Wungong. Once completed, this new stretch of highway will reduce congestion, improve the safety of our local country roads and get heavy transport out of the town centre of Byford. Right now we have big trucks moving through the town of Byford and also through many of the new subdivisions. Parents are obviously worried, with their kids playing out in the streets, that these trucks are a danger to them. If we extend the Tonkin Highway south it will change that. It's really important. I've campaigned for this extension for a few years, so I was pleased in April that the federal government decided to contribute $581 million to extend and upgrade the Tonkin Highway. This funding was announced in partnership with the WA government, which said it also would contribute, but so far we have seen nothing. For the record, I refer again to Budget Paper No. 2, part 2, at page 144, which makes very clear that the federal government is funding the Tonkin Highway extension south. That isn't an empty promise; it is fully funded.

You can understand my concern when no mention of this vital infrastructure was made in the WA government's budget, and why the community was even more concerned when Labor refused to talk about it through the Darling Range campaign. The people of Darling Range are confused and disappointed, because they understand how significant the Tonkin Highway extension will be for our region.

In summary, I repeat my congratulations to Alyssa Hayden. I look forward to working with her and I call on the WA state government to extend the Tonkin Highway and fund it.

House adjourned at 20:00