CANNING MHR Andrew Hastie retained the seat he has held for just nine months in Saturday’s Federal election.
Mr Hastie, who won a by-election last September after the death of Don Randall, secured 55.8 per cent of the vote, a swing of 5.2 per cent against him.
He polled 38,269 votes, with Barry Winmar (ALP) on 29,789, Aeron Blundell-Camden (Greens) on 5673, Jason Turner (National Party) on 2744 and Janine Joy Vander Ven (Australian Christians) on 2505.
Mr Hastie said it had been a demanding and illuminating campaign.
“I listened carefully to commuters in Mandurah and thanks to many conversations I have a clear picture of how hard families are working for their future,’’ he said.
“But the man I will never forget is the father of five I met in Lakelands. He was carefully tending his front yard after a long shift on the forklift at one of the supermarket chains. It’s a tough slog, but he keeps at it because he wants to give his wife and kids the best.
“This guy in his hi-vis shirt looked me straight in the eye and asked why voting for me was good for his kids’ future.
“I could have said jobs and stability, all of which I believe, but I also knew that, as a husband and a father myself, that answer would not fully satisfy me and because I know the things that will help my family thrive are the things that will help his family thrive.
“Yes, a stable economy but there’s something much more important: a healthy thriving community where we know each other, where the footy club is strong, where there’s a local theatre that lets kids express themselves, where churches are looking after their people and where schools know they matter to decision-|makers.”
Mr Hastie said there would be all kinds “of political shenanigans” from every side of Parliament in the next few weeks.
“But as I head back to Canberra, I’ll be thinking about that father of five and his words will continue to ring in my ears,’’ he said.
“There are big policy choices ahead but my decision-making criteria will come down to just two questions: is it in the national interest and, more pointedly, is it in the interests of the people of Canning?
“I know in a few years’ time I’m going to meet that dad in the hi-vis again and I’ll need to tell him what I’ve been doing for his family’s future.”
Mr Hastie said he would work towards improving telecommunications infrastructure, public transport, job opportunities, healthcare and the local economy.
“But as I do so, I will not let myself be distracted by the politics,” he said.
“I will always be listening to the needs of the local groups because ultimately I know I’m accountable to that dad, not to the political masters in Canberra.”