Labor announce ex-Regional Development Australia chief executive as Darling Range by-election candidate

Colleen Yates with Premier Mark McGowan.
Colleen Yates with Premier Mark McGowan.

LABOR have unveiled Colleen Yates as their candidate for the upcoming Darling Range by-election.

Ms Yates was most recently Regional Development Australia Perth chief executive and previously served as Peel Development Commission chief executive.

Having previously lived in Mundijong for seven years, Ms Yates will move back into the area ahead of the by-election on June 23.

Ms Yates said she was the right candidate for the job and was confident of her chances in what is expected to be a closely-contested by-election.

“I want to be a fresh start for the electorate, focus on what this electorate needs and work with the community to deliver better services, jobs and infrastructure required for a growing community,” she said.

“I do think I’m the right candidate. I’ve lived here, I understand the issues, I’ve worked with the community groups. I’ve participated in this region for a very, very long time and I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Ms Yates said she was looking forward to moving back into the area to deliver the support Darling Range needed.

“I’m happy to move back to reconnect with the community I know so well here,” she said.

“My main priorities are to continue to improving the services here; it’s the fastest growing region in Australia and infrastructure is something we need to look at.”

Premier Mark McGowan said he knew the government faced an uphill battle to win back Darling Range following the Barry Urban fiasco, but Ms Yates was the best candidate for Darling Range.

“It’s a very tough fight and we’ll fight very hard to win back the trust of the people of Darling Range,” he said.

“Darling Range is huge and it needs someone who has a good work ethic and is accomplished and Colleen is both of those things.

“This by-election won’t change the government, but it’s important Darling Range has a voice in the government and the way to ensure that happens is by voting for Colleen Yates.”

Darling Range had been a safe Liberal seat until Mr Urban defeated the incumbent Tony Simpson at last year’s state elections.

The Liberals have announced former upper-house MP Alyssa Hayden will contest the seat after she narrowly defeated Serpentine Jarrahdale councillor Rob Coales in a pre-selection contest.

One Nation’s Ron Caddies will also contest the vacant seat.