Cottesloe by-election called for March 17

Colin Barnett left his 27-year politics career having changed WA and leaving others divided on the cost of his legacy. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Colin Barnett left his 27-year politics career having changed WA and leaving others divided on the cost of his legacy. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

COTTESLOE voters go to the polls on March 17 to select a replacement for long-serving MLA and former premier Colin Barnett who retired from Parliament last Friday

“Eligible residents in the district of Cottesloe need to make sure their enrolment is up to date, especially if they have recently changed address or turned 18,” Electoral Commissioner David Kerslake said.

Today, after several days of talks between political parties, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in Parliament issued a writ telling Mr Kerslake to hold the by-election on that date.

However, Mr Barnett’s Liberal Party has yet to select a candidate, so it will hold a pre-selection meeting next Tuesday.

Front runners for the candidacy in the very safe blue-ribbon seat appear to be BHP lawyer Emma Roberts (40) and former party president David Honey (59).

In addition, Cambridge counillor Andres Timmermanis, estate agent Deborah Brady, marketer Sandra Brewer and an unnamed individual have put up their hands for the plum seat.

Labor has chosen not to run a candidate and the Greens have selected lawyer and former Cottesloe councillor Greg Boland.

However, there is expectation of independents also trying their luck.

A Liberal decision on a candidate may have to deal with any tensions between grassroots membership and the party’s leadership over who has the greatest influence in the choice to replace Mr Barnett after his 27 years in the seat.

WA Liberal director Sam Calabrese said the majority of the pre-selection committee of about 30 would comprise branch delegates and grassroots members chosen at random.

Mr Calabrese said there would also be a small number of randomly chosen State Party councillors, before any final decision is sent to the State Council to ratification the following weekend.

Nominations for all candidates in the by-election close at noon on February 23, and the last chance to enrol to vote is 6pm on February 14.

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