HILLARYS MLA Rob Johnson, who resigned from the Liberal Party earlier this year, has announced he will run as an independent at March’s State election.
Mr Johnson, whose preferred Liberal candidate Simon Ehrenfeld had his local preselection overturned at state council in favour of sitting Upper House MP Peter Katsambanis, said he had overwhelming support to run as an “Independent Liberal” in March.
He said he had sent the survey in late June to every household in his electorate, inviting people to vote anonymously ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘undecided’.
“I was told that only between 150 and 250 voters would respond. In fact, more than 1000 voters responded, with 76 per cent indicating they want me to run again, 22 per cent saying no, and 2 per cent undecided,” he said.
“Countless people have approached me since I became an Independent Liberal and have encouraged me to contest the next election and the survey’s results have validated this support.”
Mr Johnson said there had been a lot of unrest over the state council’s decision to select Mr Katsambanis, who came to WA after serving in the Victorian Parliament and was elected a North Metropolitan MLC in 2013.
The community had not understood why party powerbrokers had overturned the local Liberal’s decision.
Mr Johnson said he would continue to be a strong voice for the community and raise issues affecting his constituents’ daily living as well as their future.
“Many people are doing it very tough in the present economy,” he said.
“The State Government should have been saving during the good times instead of racking up debt. Now the coffers are bare and we can’t afford to support people as much as we need to. In fact, we are burdening them with hefty increases in land taxes and other charges.
“I have been saying these things for some years as a Liberal member and will continue to do so as an Independent Liberal.”