Notre Dame lecturer Tomas Fitzgerald to contest Bateman for WA Labor

Tomas Fitzgerald.
Tomas Fitzgerald.

SENIOR Notre Dame law lecturer Tomas Fitzgerald has been preselected to contest the seat of Bateman for WA Labor.

A Labor Party member since 2014, Mr Fitzgerald admits he is new to the political arena but believes he possesses the passion and skill set to make a positive difference.

“I only joined the Labor Party two years ago when it became apparent to me that sitting on the sidelines and critiquing was all well and good but to drive change you actually have to get involved,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald has been at Notre Dame since 2010, before that working as in-house legal counsel for Austal Ships where he gained experience in the State’s manufacturing industry; a key component of Opposition Leader Mark McGowan’s Plan for Jobs.

“What I saw during my time at Austal was really the coal face of international trade,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“International trade will be a big driver of jobs into the future and experiencing how it operates has given me good insight into how we can help those industries.

“If we look at defence in particular, it is absolutely clear that more can be done at a State Government level to help the industry, as evidenced by the amount of working going to states like South Australia where the Premier is an active campaigner.”

Mr Fitzgerald is opposed to the Perth Freight Link and will campaign on a platform of better employment opportunities and health and education services in the Bateman electorate.

“I think across both the electorate and WA more broadly there needs to be a co-ordinated approach to all industries, the government can’t take a hands off approach or assume another mining boom will sort out the economy,” he said.

“Specifically that will mean looking at jobs in growth areas like education and health care – specifically aged care – and defence manufacturing.”

Mr Fitzgerald is not daunted by the fact that Bateman is the safest Liberal seat in the State with a margin of 23.1 per cent, or that he will be going toe-to-toe with incumbent Transport Minister Dean Nalder.

“For a very long time there was an independent member in the old seat of Alfred Cove and I think it’s a politically engaged electorate where voters are switched on and can make informed judgments about what kind of member they want representing them,” Mr Fitzgerald said.