FORMER Cockburn councillor Yaz Mubarakai will contest the seat of Jandakot for Labor at the March State Election.
The 40-year-old businessman, unseated from his east ward council position last October, said he was excited about the opportunity before him.
To win he faces the difficult task of dethroning Joe Francis, who has held the position for the Liberal party since 2008.
Mr Mubarakai said he would keep the focus on his own campaign and not the current Emergency Services, Fisheries, Corrective Services and Veterans minister.
“He’s (Mr Francis) been around and I think for me it’s not about focusing on him, for me it’s about focusing on me and the Labor party and what the party wants to deliver for the community,” he said.
“It’s not a personal one-on-one, it’s more abut what the community’s needs are and what the community wants from a governing body.”
Mr Mubarakai, who should begin pounding the pavement within weeks, said transport infrastructure was “a critical element” for the growth corridor and would feature heavily in the lead up to the election.
“We’re at a very vital stage now in the southern corridor where as a state we’ve got to take on more responsibility with what we’re going to do moving forward so communities can have a better lifestyle,” he said.
“Some of the things I think are important in this seat are the Armadale Bride, the gridlock there (is bad), the North Lake flyover – that’s another critical piece of infrastructure – and Labor’s plans for Metronet, that’s so critical for infrastructure in Perth and connecting communities and small businesses in the area.”
Mr Mubarakai, who moved to Australia from India in late 1997, has kept busy since his exit from the local council with work expanding his cafe, take-away outlets and the post office at Cockburn Gateway.
He said he was confident his team could manage if his private interests were to take a back seat.
“I am confident. That’s why I am here,” he said.
“I’ve never done anything half-hearted and this opportunity I’m about to take will be the same.”
Mr Francis said he would not take anything for granted but believed his history would hold him in good stead.
“Every commitment I have made, I have delivered,” he said.
“The Aubin Grove train station is almost complete and the Cockburn Central police station, which is a little later than planned, is much bigger in scope than it was originally going to be and should be finished soon.”
He said the North Lake flyover bridge would likely be a key issue of the campaign.
Mr Mubarakai also wanted to clarify comments he made about Dominic Bird, the Perth man acquitted of drug charges in Malaysia in 2014.
Mr Mubarakai, “an acquaintance” of the family, spoke to a news outlet in 2012, a year prior to Mr Bird being cleared and two years before an appeal was quashed.
He said “as a councillor I took on the role of speaking about the family and how sensitive the situation was”.
“I felt for the father and the family here in Australia while the situation was playing out abroad,” he said.
“I don’t condone drug selling or using drugs – that’s wrong.
“I spoke positively for the family as it was a sensitive situation.”