Scarborough MLA Harvey prioritises family over Liberal leadership

Liza Harvey. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Liza Harvey. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

SCARBOROUGH MLA Liza Harvey has confirmed she will not put her hand up for the Liberal leadership to prioritise spending time with her family.

However, she did confirm she would continue as the party’s deputy to expected new leader Mike Nahan, a decision that will be made next week.

“I’ve worked very hard for the last few years and my daughter is now in Year 12 and my son is in Year 10 so it is a critical year for the two of them; I need to spend more time with them for the next few years and then see how I feel after that,” she said.

“We’ve got some critical years ahead; they’ve had a very tumultuous time obviously losing their dad and with me being so busy so it is really a family decision.”

Mrs Harvey comfortably retained her seat but said she felt “lucky” to have her job after community uproar about the International School of WA relocating to Doubleview Primary School.

“There’s a few issues down at the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) Scarborough redevelopment zone with those businesses so I’ll be advocating on their behalf with the new planning minister and also the development contributions scheme that was being proposed; I don’t think (the MRA) got that right,” she said.

Mrs Harvey said she would continue to advocate for carers and the importance of frank, open discussions about terminal illness in her role as Palliative Care WA patron.

Her husband Hal was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and died in 2014 after a battle with the aggressive illness.

“We need to be a bit more forthright with people in discussing treatment options; I think we can do a lot better at providing support mechanisms for people,” she said.

“It is a really lonely experience; our culture does not discuss these things in a very forthright way.

“You end up as the carer to the person but you also end up providing support to a whole host of other people too.”

Mrs Harvey will speak at a gastro-intestinal community forum on Thursday on the experience of being a carer.

“What I found is there is not a lot of support or counselling for people that find themselves in that situation; you just have to make the best of it,” she said.

“There is also not enough conversation about what terminal illness looks like towards the end.

“My husband was 88kgs and over 6 foot when he was diagnosed and when he passed away he was hardly 52kgs.

“It is just a horror story, I don’t know if anyone can actually prepare you for that.”

GI Cancer Institute: Engage Community Forum

When: Thursday March 23, 6.30pm–9.00pm

Where: St. Catherine’s on the Park, University of WA