LOCAL jobs, payroll tax changes, WA’s share of the GST and tourism were hot topics at a debate among State Election candidates for Wanneroo yesterday.
The Wanneroo Business Association hosted the breakfast so small business was unsurprisingly a focus, with Wanneroo MLA and Liberal Party member Paul Miles, Labor’s Sabine Winton, Independent Max Wilson and The Greens WA’s Robyn Treacy outlining how they would support local business if elected.
Ms Winton reinforced her party’s commitment to providing jobs locally, particularly in the Neerabup industrial area, as well as cutting red tape, while Mr Miles said he believed in creating long-term employment opportunities and highlighted the Liberals’ election promise to raise thresholds for payroll tax and land tax exemption.
Investing in public transport and Tafe to develop well-trained employees would support businesses, according to Ms Treacy and Mr Wilson said he supported lifting payroll tax threshold levels and returning more of the GST share to WA.
Carabooda resident Chris Waddell described the fragmented nature of Wanneroo, with its mix of rural and urban areas, and asked candidates for their vision to unite the area and make it a “mighty city”.
“My vision is to make better lives for people,” said Mr Wilson, who is on leave from his job as advertising manager at the Weekender.
He believed this could be done through growing business in Neerabup, as well as tourism opportunities in Yanchep and Carabooda, sentiments that were echoed by Ms Treacy.
Mr Miles said the State Government had created plans for the region but an “overriding plan to glue it all together” was needed, which he suggested the City of Wanneroo could take a large role in.
Citing Labor’s commitments to relocate Ingham’s Enterprises from Sinagra, create Metronet and build overpasses at two Wanneroo Road intersections, Ms Winton said the party also planned to revisit The Future of East Wanneroo plan published when it was in government in 2007, which created an agriculture only precinct in Carabooda and addressed groundwater issues. She told attendees a Labor government would put business front and central, saying they were the “heart and soul of the community”.
“Without confidence in small business, we are in trouble,” she said.
But Mr Miles said he already had the “runs on the board” delivering benefits in the electorate, such as primary schools and the Mitchell Freeway extension.
“Most importantly, it’s about you and the Wanneroo electorate, making sure local constituents are looked after,” he said.
Despite preconceptions, Ms Treacy said The Greens had a plan to create jobs and grow business.
“We are a community-based organisation, we only care about the community,” she said.
Mr Wilson declared he wanted to “break the deadlock” between the two major parties and wanted to represent the community.
In her closing address, Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said she was heartened by some of the pledges but cautioned that “actions speak louder than words”.