Labor yet to name candidate

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
O'Connor MHR Rick Wilson and Geegeelup Village's Breg Giblett.
Camera IconO'Connor MHR Rick Wilson and Geegeelup Village's Breg Giblett. Credit: Tari Jeffers

Three likely nominees for the seat of O’Connor at the upcoming Federal election have been revealed — and where they come from could leave eastern voters feeling forgotten.

The Albany Advertiser can confirm Liberal Member for O’Connor and Katanning resident Rick Wilson intends to run for a third term in the upcoming election, which will be held before June 2019.

Mr Wilson has not yet officially been endorsed by the Liberal Party but as the sitting member and the only nominee for the party he is expected to be confirmed on June 30.

The National Party will run Pingelly grain farmer John Hassell, who unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2016, as its candidate for a second time.

The Greens have nominated Youngs Siding resident Nelson Blake Gilmour, 28, who is making his first run for public office and has a politics degree from Murdoch University.

Labor remains the only major party yet to reveal when or if they will nominate a candidate for the seat, which has been won by the Liberals in 12 out of 13 elections since 1980.

The ALP has run a candidate for the seat in each of those elections but has so far never won. The three confirmed or likely candidates are from towns within 300km of each other in the electorate’s south-west, a small pocket of rural towns in an electorate which stretches 1400km from Manjimup to the Gibson Desert.

The south-west bias could alienate the population living east of Albany, including in the Shire of Esperance and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

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