CITY of Perth councillor Lily Chen has set her sights on State Parliament.
Cr Chen has been pre-selected as the Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Mirrabooka, to be contested at the election in March next year.
Cr Chen told the Guardian Express that she wanted to get into State politics to “make a difference”.
“I understand that community,” she said. “I have a background in immigration law and refugee law; I have worked for 10 years in that area.
“The biggest issue is unemployment. It is higher in that seat than in any other. I have the plans and the policies to tackle unemployment and will release them when I am formally endorsed.”
Cr Chen she had been told by a previous Liberal Party candidate to doorknock the area during business hours because “(many) people don’t work”.
“The other big issue is crime, including domestic violence,” she said. “You must look at the causes behind the crime and the main cause is unemployment.”
The sitting member for Mirrabooka, Janine Freeman, said she agreed that employment was a major issue in the area.
“I have been particularly concerned about employment in the area as currently it sits at 24 per cent in Mirrabooka/Balga and have been raising this matter publicly, in the local paper, and in Parliament for some time,” she said.
“I argued in the Public Health Bill that unemployment was a public health issue given its impact on physical and mental health, a position rejected by the Liberal Minister.”
Ms Freeman raised transport and congestion as another major issue.
“The Barnett Government promised a light rail line to Mirrabooka,” she said. “The need for efficient, effective and timely transport continues, and I will be asking the electorate to endorse the long-term Metronet transport plan of WA Labor.”
Ms Freeman said that she had worked hard to address crime issues in the community.
“Under the Barnett Government, crime rates have risen,” she said. “I have worked with the Mirrabooka police and Warwick police…(and) police presence has lessened break-ins and anti-social crime in the area.”
Cr Chen said her business and legal background would suit the area and that she had built up strong support in Mirrabooka by “working closely with many ethnic communities over the years and have strong support there”.
“I already have 100 volunteers,” she said. “By March it will be many more.”