Vincent councillor McDonald to quit and take up State MLC role

Laine McDonald. Picture: Facebook
Laine McDonald. Picture: Facebook

VINCENT councillor Laine McDonald attended her final council meeting last night after being called up to replace retiring State Labor MLC Ken Travers.

Cr McDonald was next in line after Mr Travers on Labor’s North Metropolitan ticket, and will take his place in the Legislative Council until his term ends in May, 2017.

Mayor John Carey congratulated Cr McDonald for her efforts on council and her work in the local community in general.

The soon-to-be MLC told communitynews.com.au she was surprised when the veteran Mr Travers sent out the call of duty.

“It was a surprise, to be honest. Ken called me shortly before he made the announcement. You always know when you’re up on a Legislative Council ticket that there is a chance you will get the call; the likelihood is remote, but I got the call,” she said.

Asked about her plans in the event Alannah MacTiernan leads Labor’s North Metro ticket in the March election, Cr McDonald said she was not preoccupied with pre-selection matters.

“My sole focus for the next eight months is to do the best job I can possibly do and work hard for the people of the North Metropolitan region. What comes after that is to be determined in the future,” she said.

During her time as an MLC, however long that may be, Cr McDonald said she had a number of priorities.

“First is to listen to the people of the region and advocate on their behalf, second I will have duties to fulfil, scrutinising any legislation that comes into the Legislative Council carefully, and third there are key issues that are very important to me,” she said.

“We need to create more jobs in WA. We need to ease congestion on our roads. And we need more support for working families, including providing accessible, affordable and quality childcare – and quality public education for out primary and high school students.”

Cr McDonald’s impending resignation opens up an interesting dilemma for Vincent council, which could also lose Mayor John Carey if he wins the State seat of Perth at the March State Election.

She said she had informed chief executive Len Kosova that it is her intention to resign.

“In terms of the vacancy created by my departure it’s a question for the CEO. I believe they are currently seeking advice on whether a by-election is required or if they can keep the position vacant until the next election,” she said.

The next council election is in October, 2017.

However, if Cr McDonald is not Labor’s candidate at the March election she would be available to return to council in May.

This could give the City a way to avoid choosing between an expensive by-election or being a councillor short for 13 months.