I want to serve: Hastie

Liberal Party candidate Andrew Hastie.
Liberal Party candidate Andrew Hastie.

The Special Air Services veteran has officially been endorsed as the Liberal candidate who will stand in the Canning by-election on September 19.

He resigned as a captain in the SAS on August 20 after beating six other applicants for the candidacy.

�I�m 100 per cent committed to this,� he said.

�I�m very grateful for the opportunities I�ve had, but this is a new beginning and I�m really excited about it.�

Mr Hastie (32) has spent the last 13 years in the army, including six with the SAS.

His tasks have included leading sensitive strategic operations in Afghanistan in 2012-2013, where he worked alongside Afghan partner forces and conducted strike missions against the Taliban.

In 2013, he went to Papua New Guinea with a government team and looked first-hand at Operation Sovereign Borders.

Earlier in the year, he was in the Middle East for coalition operations against Islamic State.

Mr Hastie said he now wanted to serve the Australian people � particularly the people of Canning � in Parliament.

�Taxpayers invested a lot of money in my development as a leader and obviously Don�s passing was very sudden and very sad and now is the time I want to step up and continue to serve the)Australian people,� he said.

�The military is quite a political organisation, it�s fairly bureaucratic.

�I�ve got a lot of experience working and navigating the halls of bureaucracy. I think I�ll transition very well.�

Mr Hastie has been �mission focused� for the past two weeks, spending time in the Canning electorate, talking to people and grasping the issues.

He said job security was the first major issue, especially in Mandurah, with youth employment at 17 per cent.

Second was drug-related crime in the south metropolitan area.

�With my background in military I know what it�s like to work out a problem and when it comes to ice, you need an integrated approach � law enforcement and community solution,� he said.

�One of the first things I�d do if elected would be to bring educators, law enforcement, medical people, community representatives together and work on this problem.�

Mr Hastie also said lack of phone coverage in semi-isolated areas, such as Byford and further south near Waroona needed to be addressed.

He planned to speak to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull about it.