Scott Leary says the Liberal Party has the financial credentials to guide Albany through the post-pandemic economic recovery as he makes his case ahead of the 2021 State election. Mr Leary has been confirmed as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Albany, which has been held by Labor veteran Peter Watson since 2001. Joined by Opposition Leader Liza Harvey in Albany last week, Mr Leary said he believed the contest for the seat would be “back on an even playing field” after Mr Watson’s retirement. As the financial director of Albany City Motors, he said he had the business experience to help his city get back into a strong position. “Coming out of the other side of COVID-19 is going to take a great deal of financial management — that’s where the Liberals come in,” Mr Leary said. “The election is coming at a time where it is going take a lot of work to get things functional on the ground. “I think we are back on an even playing field. The vote that Peter Watson commanded was based on his personality and being an Albany icon, so I hope I’ll bring that to the table.” Born and raised in Perth, Mr Leary moved to Albany in 1992 as part of a transfer with Westpac and has since started a family and raised two boys, now in their early 20s. Mr Leary has volunteered for the Albany Volleyball Association for more than 26 years and sat on the board of South Regional TAFE for a decade. He said his experiences would fuel his fight for better education and job opportunities and his push to bring value-add and manufacturing industries back to the electorate. “We deserve better infrastructure and better opportunities for our youth,” he said. “People think when they finish high school, that they have to go to Perth because they are not seeing opportunities here. It is up to us to create the opportunities to keep them here.” The Liberals face an uphill battle over the next nine months after the State Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has boosted Premier Mark McGowan’s popularity. Ms Harvey said this would “probably be the most difficult time in history to be leader of an Opposition”. But it also presented an opportunity to offer strong leadership to a State an the brink of a recession. “We had a health crisis, we now have a jobs and economic crisis — 62,000 people joining the dole queue in one month — I just think that’s a tragedy and we’ve got to get started on getting them back to work,” she said She said her party would “vigorously contest” the seat of Albany. “Scott has done the hard yards in the community with his business and ultimately people will vote for someone they trust locally,” she said.