MP Ken Travers Steps Down with Health Concerns

North Metropolitan MLC Ken Travers and his dog Max. Picture: Martin Kennealey   d439474
North Metropolitan MLC Ken Travers and his dog Max. Picture: Martin Kennealey d439474

ONGOING health concerns prompted North Metropolitan MLC Ken Travers to step away from his portfolio positions for the State Opposition earlier this month.

Mr Travers resigned as Opposition spokesman for transport, a position he had held for six-and-a-half years, as well as from the agriculture and food; infrastructure; Wheatbelt and Mid West portfolios.

Mr Travers said he started to feel unwell on May 1 and went to the after hours clinic at Joondalup Health Campus.

He then saw his GP, had blood tests and took two days off, but a couple of weeks later, while giving a speech on tax reforms, he experienced another dizzy spell.

“Suddenly in the middle of the speech, I felt really giddy and realised if I didn’t sit down, I would pass out,” he said.

Mr Travers said he went to see his GP in Mt Hawthorn that evening, who sent him by ambulance to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

“They never really did work out what it was,” he said.

“I feel better but I still don’t feel 100 per cent; I’m going to go and try and get another referral.

“I was told to take a couple of weeks off, which I did.

“I reflected and realised that I wasn’t going to be able to continue; I had too many balls juggling in the air.

“There are plenty of other people in the caucus who can be shadow ministers.

“One of the things I have got to do is lose some weight.

“We’ve got ourselves a dog again; I’m taking him (Max) for a walk every day.”

Having recently moved to Edgewater, Mr Travers said his focus was now on representing the northern suburbs in the lead-up to the 2017 state election.

“We (Labor) need to win four to five seats in north metro if we want to win government; we need to win seats across the northern corridor,” he said.

First elected to the Upper House in 1996, Mr Travers took office in 1997 and May 21 marked 18 years as an MP.

Until recently his electorate office had been in the same spot on Reid Promenade, but in January he moved to Collier Pass, opposite Joondalup Station.

“Joondalup has changed; Lakeside shopping centre was probably about a third of the size that it is now,” he said.

“I remember coming up on the first train and it was all just parkland around the train station.”

Call to get onboard trains

VOICING his thoughts on key transport issues in the northern corridor, North Metropolitan MLC Ken Travers said he would continue to share his transport knowledge with his colleagues.

One of the key issues he said was getting people to use public transport.

“The number of vehicles using the Mitchell Freeway is still increasing – use of public transport has completely stalled,” he said.

He said projects to build transport infrastructure such as rail to Yanchep was also important for creating jobs.

“As a project it delivers the greatest benefit of any projects in the metro area,” he said.

“The advantage of rail for developers is they can leverage that to go create higher quality jobs.”

Mr Travers said another key issue was the cost of public transport, with his partner’s SmartRider using about $20 every couple of days for train tickets and parking fees to get from Edgewater to the city.In his electorate, he said he wanted to pursue the Ocean Reef Boat Harbour issue, which “has been used as a political football for too long”.

“It reeks of opportunity in terms of creating jobs up here, more local jobs (and) breaking into the tourism market,” he said.

Attentive to transport matters, Mr Travers said the other issue was the Perth freight link through the southern suburbs and the knock-on effects it would have north of the river.

He said the government wanted to increase the number of shipping containers going through Fremantle Port from 700,000 to two million a year.

The MP said companies were more likely to head north on West Coast Highway if they had containers to deliver to the northern suburbs.

“It’s just going to make congestion around West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road worse (so) all the money spent trying to beautify Scarborough is destroyed,” he said.

Instead, he said the State Government should reconsider the Stephenson Highway, proposed in the 1950s to link Fremantle and Osborne Park, although it would have implications across the western suburbs.