Brand MHR Madeleine King has called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to honour Labor’s suite of election commitments for the benefit of the electorate following the incumbent Government being returned at the polls on Saturday.
The Labor member said she was honoured to have been re-elected for a second term to represent the people of Brand, but also lamented some “unfortunate divisive and offensive material” that was shared on social media throughout the five-week election campaign.
Ms King held her seat despite a swing of nearly 4.5 per cent against her compared with the 2016 election, collecting 40.98 per cent of first preference votes and 56.97 per cent on a two-candidate preferred basis.
On Monday, she called on the Prime Minister and the Brand Division of the Liberal Party to hold the Federal Government to account for its failure to deliver any local commitments for Rockingham, Kwinana and beyond on the campaign trail.
“It’s deeply disappointing … it’s no wonder people feel like the Government doesn’t care about them,” she said.
“I’m honoured to again have the privilege of representing Brand, the community I grew up in, in Federal Parliament.”
During the campaign, Ms King and the Australian Labor Party committed $5 million towards a mental health emergency facility at Rockingham General Hospital, $2 million for stage one of the Baldivis Districts Sporting Complex development, $1.5 million towards a training facility for NDIS and aged care workers and $1 million for a new welding simulator at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Naval Base Campus.
She also pledged $500,000 for Baldivis Children’s Forest, $80,000 in funding for an outdoor learning space for Port Kennedy Primary School and $50,000 for North Peron Science Network towards upgrading its virtual reality technology.
“People here in this community deserve their fair share of funding, and should not miss out on these commitments due to a Federal Government disinterested in this community,” Ms King said.
“Some of our country’s most disadvantaged live in our community and I do not want them to miss out because of the nationwide election result. Some of Labor’s commitments will have huge impacts on the quality of life for the people in Rockingham and Kwinana.”
Ms King also took a swipe at negative social media activity from some community members. “It’s unfortunate that fake news and divisive and offensive material was shared on social media throughout the campaign, and I’m disappointed that evidently it worked for some people in our community,” she said.
Ms King said the ALP would take stock and review its campaign on a national level in the coming days, and expected to work with the party’s national secretariat and leadership as to its next steps. “I’ll continue fighting for a better deal for our community,” she said.
How Brand voted: the numbers
Despite a swing towards the Liberal Party after preferences, incumbent MHR Madeleine King has retained the seat of Brand.
Ms King had collected 29,973, or 40.98 per cent, of the 72.79 per cent of the total counted first-preference votes in the seat, followed by Liberal candidate Jack Pleiter, who received 22,154, or 30.29 per cent of first preference votes.
Ms King’s vote was down 6.5 per cent on the 2016 election. Despite gaining a 4.46 per cent swing in the Liberal Party’s favour in two candidate preferred voting after preferences, Mr Pleiter’s vote was also down 1.33 per cent for the Liberal Party of first preferences compared to the 2016 vote.
Greens candidate Jody Freeman received 8065 votes, or just more than 11 per cent, which was 0.65 per cent down on the Greens’ 2016 numbers. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Travis Young collected 5918 votes, which no doubt had an impact in reducing both Ms King and Mr Pleiter’s numbers given the party didn’t run a candidate in 2016.
Australian Christians candidate Janine Vander Ven received 2227 votes, United Australia Party’s Trevor Jones 1958, Western Australia Party’s Blake Phelan 1722 and Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party’s Karen-Lee Mills 1121.
Voter turnout was down 1.84 per cent from 95.78 per cent of eligible voters in 2016 to 93.94 per cent, while informal votes accounted for 6.06 per cent of votes, up 1.84 per cent.
Figures for 40 of 41 Brand polling places have been returned, with all bar two — Tranby College and Wandi — favouring Ms King.