FORMER Gosnells sergeant Rob Coales has always had an interest in politics.
Seeing Andrew Hastie get selected as a Federal member from an armed forces background gave him the idea to run for Parliament.
The 40-year-old father of two will contest the State seat of Thornlie for the Liberal Party.
Mr Coales studied a Bachelor of Arts in politics at Murdoch University before going on to work for several members of Parliament and then joining the Australian Federal Police and eventually ending up as a Sergeant at Gosnells Police Station.
The seat of Thornlie will formally be the seat of Gosnells, which has been re-named following re-distribution.
Labor member Chris Tallentire currently holds Gosnells and Mr Coales believed the swing to be about 1.8 per cent.
Mr Coales said he had given himself six months to campaign, as he had to quit his job as a police officer due to conflict of interest.
“I did an undergraduate degree at Murdoch University and did a Bachelor of Arts in politics and it has always been there in the back of mind to go into politics,” he said.
“The light bulb moment was seeing someone like Andrew Hastie. To see Andrew do it, he is a great candidate. I want to follow in his footsteps and make a difference in the State area.
“My whole adult life I have done policing to help people and make things better for people so I think this is an extension.”
Mr Coales said he had learned about the area over the past two years while working in Gosnells Police Station.
He said some of the key issues in the area were crime and small business.
“People want to feel safe. We need to stop people breaking into people’s homes,” he said.
“I have been quite surprised with how many vacant premises there are in Gosnells. Why is that? We need to be able to help promote small businesses.”
Mr Coales said being a police officer had helped him be a good communicator with the public.
“I have the ability to relate to people whether they are a businessman or long-term unemployed,” he said.
“I am not someone parachuted in that doesn’t know the area.”
He said winning the seat would be a marathon effort.
“I would be naive to think it isn’t going to be easy,” he said.