COTTESLOE by-election Liberal candidate David Honey (59) says losing candidate-nominee Emma Roberts (40) could still be an MP but he does not know if she could take Bill Marmion’s neighbouring safe Nedlands seat.
“I don’t know what Bill is doing, but, you know, Emma looked like a real good candidate and I got to spend a little bit of time with her, and I hope she does continue,” Dr Honey told the Western Suburbs Weekly this morning.
“I know people in the party have continued to discuss things with Emma, and it’s a great chance for her to develop experience in the party, and also get that support she’d need in the future.”
On Saturday, Dr Honey, the president of the Kwinana Industries Council, was confirmed by his party’s State Council for the March 17 by-election triggered by the resignation of former premier Colin Barnett.
Dr Honey said it was “hard to sustain” subsequent Labor Party criticism that his candidacy resulted from a Liberal Party ‘boy’s club establishment’ that put off women running as MPs, because his referees were senior businesswoman Deidre Willmott and WA Liberal Party Women’s Council president Lorraine Finlay, and three of the six candidate-nominees were women.
The Liberals have 22 MPs in both houses of Parliament after a crushing defeat the State Election last March.
“If we’re going to have more women, if we’re going to improve diversity in the party, that’s going to happen at the next State Election,” Dr Honey said.
His first campaigning is doorknocking to examine Mosman Park residents’ claims of repeat street crime near State Government housing, reported by Community News last week, but he said the housings’ tenants should not be isolated from the rest of the community.
Greens candidate Greg Boland, the only other challenger in the by-election so far, said the tenants should not be blamed when statistics indicated lower crime rates, but methamphetamine addiction had to be addressed and Cottesloe Police Station kept and upgraded.
“I think it’s a policing and justice system issue if these people need to be dealt with by the courts,” Mr Boland said.
This morning, Mr Marmion reiterated his intention to run in Nedlands at the next election so the small number of Liberal MPs had experienced members, and he would only give up the seat at his retirement at an undermined date.
Attempts to contact Ms Roberts were unsuccessful.