Labor picks counter-terrorism expert

New Federal Labor candidate for Cowan Anne Aly (left) with Federal MP Alannah MacTiernan.
New Federal Labor candidate for Cowan Anne Aly (left) with Federal MP Alannah MacTiernan.

State Opposition Leader Mark McGowan and Federal MP Alannah MacTiernan said the Edith Cowan University professor was ideal to take on the Liberal Party’s most marginal WA seat, held by Luke Simpkins since 2007.

“We are very, very proud that we have a woman of this calibre that is prepared to stand for Labor; someone who is smart, who is compassionate, who has the life experience to really represent the people of Cowan well,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“She is going to bring a positive message to the people of Cowan. She’s going to be talking about how all the people from all the lands from which we come can live together in a positive way.”

Known for her work on anti-radicalisation, Dr Aly said she was from a working class family.

“It’s through education that I’ve been able to take opportunities that have been offered to me and build myself up, build my family up,” she said.

“I’d like to see the people of Cowan also having those opportunities.”

Dr Aly said she held very different views to Mr Simpkins, particularly when it came to religion.

“The fact is, yes I am Muslim; the fact is that I am a very strong believer in a liberal, secular democracy and particularly in the principles of our constitution that states that religion and the state are separate and that religion has no place in the state,” she said.

Despite not living in the electorate, Dr Aly said she would make plans to move there if elected.

“I understand that’s going to be a challenge, but I’ll be there every single day,’ she said.

She said she was eager to speak to Cowan voters, especially about issues such as the cost of living, education and job security. “I think the people of Cowan really need to know I’m here to listen to them,” she said.

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