State Election: Labor confident in Midland, despite knife-edge contest in 2013

Michelle Roberts.
Michelle Roberts.

MICHELLE Roberts first won the seat of Midland in the WA Government in December 1996.

Mrs Roberts said she felt so far in the campaign WA Labor and Mark McGowan were tracking well.

“The Labor Party is offering a fresh approach and lots of positive policies,” she said.

“People tell me every day that Colin Barnett and the Liberals are tired and out of touch.”

She said the electorate showed it was in a very different mood to 2013, but there were five weeks to go and no one was taking anything for granted.

Since the Geoff Gallop government, Mrs Roberts has held a range of different portfolios: police and crime prevention, road safety, local government, planning and including heritage, justices and indigenous affairs.

Mrs Roberts has run in the seat five times and this is her sixth election.

She said some of the biggest issues for her in the electorate were the increase in Tafe fees, failures in police response times and increases in daily living costs.

She conceded it was hard to be a Labor member when the Liberals were in government.

“I’m not taking anything for granted, but on balance I think that the community will embrace the fresh approach from Labor ahead of more of the same from Colin Barnett and the Liberals,” Mrs Roberts said.

In the last election Mrs Roberts polled 50.06 per cent of the vote, with 10,142 votes and Cr Parasiliti polled 49.94 per cent with 10,118 votes.

So just 24 votes separated the two candidates.

It will make for a close result in 2017.

Daniel Parasiliti is a physiotherapist who is studying a part-time law degree, a husband and father to three young children.

He has been a councillor in the City of Swan for three years.

Cr Parasiliti said he was committed to Midland, and wants to make a significant and strong contribution to the area.

“My passion for the area is strong through my links to business, the council and my friendships.

“I work hard for my family and for our future and I want to work hard to represent this city.

“What compels me is the local people I meet as the local physiotherapist, the challenges I see as a councillor at the City of Swan and the work with groups like Binar Basketball, Midland PCYC and Friendship Café.

“I don’t live in the area but I work here every day in my business and as a City of Swan councillor; I’m heavily involved with a lot of community groups.

The Greens fielded a candidate who polled 9.4 per cent of the vote and an Australian Christian Party candidate polled 2.56 per cent of the vote at the last election.

East Metropolitan MLC, Alyssa Hayden, whose office is in Midland, said she would welcome a local representative who was passionate about Midland.

“With two of us, we could do so much more for the area,” she said.

“Energy and passion for Midland is what is needed and Daniel has that in spades.”

Alyssa Hayden has represented the area for eight years.

Cr Parasiliti has been a business owner in the suburb since he was 23.