Bridging the gap — Harvey confident Libs can reclaim Albany

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
Opposition Leader Liza Harvey.
Camera IconOpposition Leader Liza Harvey. Credit: Laurie Benson

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey believes the Liberal Party is poised to win back the seat of Albany at the 2021 State election.

Ms Harvey and South West MLC Steve Thomas spent yesterday mingling with local business owners, residents and government officials to develop their party’s position heading into 2021.

The Liberal Party has not held the Albany electorate since Peter Watson won the seat in 2001.

Mr Watson’s victory ended nearly three decades of Liberal dominance.

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With Mr Watson tipped to retire before the next election, Ms Harvey has faith in her Liberal party members who have thrown their hats into the ring for pre-selections.

“Peter Watson has served the community well for a long period of time, but I think there is a bit of a mood in Albany that it is time for change,” she said.

“We feel we would have a very good chance with some of the Liberal candidates who have put their names forward. They’re very good, very competent candidates.

“We’re definitely going to challenge for this seat whether Peter Watson is a candidate or not.”

Finding employment to retain Albany’s young people will be a key angle of the -party’s local campaign.

“Similar to the rest of the State, the local economy is a bit of concern for the people of Albany and trying to work out where the next jobs are coming from,” Ms Harvey said.

“It’s always been one of those towns that struggles to keep its young people.

“So I think we need to be looking at ‘Well, how do we position ourselves, what do we do for tourism, what do we do for the services sector to ensure we’ve got an employment hub in Albany that’s attractive to our young people?’.”

Despite 2017 Liberal candidate Greg Stocks receiving 17.6 per cent of the primary vote, behind Nationals WA candidate Robert Sutton with 20.1 per cent, Ms Harvey said the seat was “very winnable”.

“It’s been held by Liberals over a long period of time. Kevin Prince held it for a very long time,” she said.

“We feel quite confident we can win it back.”

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