Reality of life as MHR ‘plane’ to see

Last Monday, she changed her flights to get back from her second trip to the capital in time for a City of Swan meeting to hear discussions about a proposed secure facility for intellectually disabled prisoners in Lockridge.

It is a four-hour flight back from Canberra to Perth, and is a trip Ms MacTiernan is going to have to get used to very quickly.

The journey was one of the reasons former Perth MHR Stephen Smith gave when he retired from politics earlier this year.

‘I have seen just how hard it has been for some many West Australian members of parliament trying to juggle their obligations in Canberra and the difficulty in getting back,’ Ms MacTiernan said.

‘But I think for me, and hopefully I am not being naively optimistic, but I think it will be easier for me than it has been for people raising young families during their period in parliament, because I don’t have those same family obligations.’

After deciding against putting her hand up for a portfolio on the opposition front bench, Ms MacTiernan said she was looking at everything she could do to address the four big issues she stood for at election; climate change, education, public transport and promoting WA.

‘Sometimes there is a benefit with not having a shadow portfolio because you are not confined to speaking on a single issue,’ she said.

Ms MacTiernan stepped down from her role as Vincent Mayor after winning the election, but her interest in local government has not wavered, and she said all mayors should be voted for directly by ratepayers to encourage more people to council.

‘I think it is a great area and not one that should be seen as a poor cousin to the other tiers of government,’ she said.

Ms MacTiernan will be officially sworn into parliament on Tuesday, November 12.

She will be the tenth Perth MHR and one of the few politicians who has been a local Mayor, State minister and Federal parliamentarian.