Trust a 2019 election issue

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Labor candidate Shelley Payne.
Camera IconLabor candidate Shelley Payne. Credit: Kalgoorlie Miner

Decisions by O’Connor MP Rick Wilson to abstain from the same-sex marriage vote in 2017, and back Peter Dutton over Malcolm Turnbull in 2018, have contributed to a desire for change in the region, according to Labor’s new candidate.

Labor’s Shelley Payne said Mr Wilson’s unpopular decisions – abstaining from the parliament vote after 56 percent of the electorate supported same-sex marriage, and getting behind Peter Dutton in the leadership spill – did not sit well with electors.

“People are ready for change,” she said.

“They’re not satisfied with the status quo and I hope they’ll use their vote to show they’re not happy and want change,” she said.

Mr Payne said Mr Wilson’s decisions to prioritise his own views over the desire of the community were incongruous to her own philosophy.

“You’re a politician and you’re there to represent the people and the people’s views, not your own views,” she said.

“Rick Wilson … should have stood behind his word and what he said he would do.”

Those incidents have, more than any other, brought Mr Wilson’s actions in Canberra into the spotlight in the past two years.

While a majority of voters in O’Connor supported changing the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to wed, Mr Wilson abstained from the vote in parliament based on his concerns religious protections in the bill.

However, not all MPs who opposed changing law abstained from the vote – including WA metro MP Ian Goodenough who said “his job (was) to represent the electorate”.

Then 2018, Mr Wilson was chided on social media for backing Peter Dutton over Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal Party leadership.

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