State Election 2017: A day in the life of Lib candidate for Thornlie

State Election 2017: A day in the life of Lib candidate for Thornlie
State Election 2017: A day in the life of Lib candidate for Thornlie

FOR Rob Coales, contesting the State Election has meant quitting his job as a police officer and spending his own time and money.

Mr Coales is pursuing the job “he always wanted” as the Liberal candidate for Thornlie at the March 11 election.

Labor member Chris Tallentire currently holds the seat of Gosnells, which has been replaced by Thornlie, and Mr Coales believed a swing of about 1.6 per cent was needed to win.

His two roles combined when, just a month after quitting his job and campaigning at Maddington Central, he chased down someone with a stolen handbag, made a citizen’s arrest and called some of his old police colleagues.

Each day, Mr Coales follows a routine developed during his time in the police and army.

He begins his day at 8am at his campaign office on the Albany Highway in Gosnells before heading across the road to McDonald’s for a coffee and newspaper.

He then heads out doorknocking until about 2pm to 3pm, speaking to residents about issues in the electorate. After that, Mr Coales returns to his office to write letters to those he has spoken to during the day.

Mr Coales has picked up some security work at Perth Scorchers games and other events.

“We have to pay the mortgage, school fees and cost of living,” he said.

“My wife is working full-time and has been extremely supportive. I made the decision that if I was going to campaign well, I was going to resign in September; that gave me six months.”

Gosnells MLA Chris Tallentire has been on the campaign trail as he says “you never take anything for granted in politics”.

Mr Tallentire has been the Gosnells MLA for eight years.

He said that as a sitting member, residents were aware of who he was and people would come to him with issues.

Mr Tallentire said he was spending most of his time doorknocking and speaking to residents when not doing his general Parliamentary duties.

“Doorknocking dominates this stage of campaigning,” he said.

“In Parliamentary life, you really have to re-apply for your job every four years.”

He said although the campaign was heating up as the date drew closer, the Labor party had been campaigning for some time.

“We have not stopped campaigning, with a number of community events and street corner meetings,” he said.

Mr Tallentire said often residents would come to him with issues that may seem mundane, such as shopping trolleys being taken from centres, but he was there to address the concerns of constituents.

He said it was important to remain healthy throughout a busy campaign. Although he was not cycling as much as he would normally like, he is still finding time on the indoor trainer to keep fit and healthy, both mentally and physically.

He said he did not have any plans if he did not win the seat and was focused completely on the campaign.