Policies revealed as race in Durack gets under way

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser

Six candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for a crack at the Federal seat of Durack in WA on September 7.

Retiring Liberal MP Barry Haase holds Durack by 13.7 per cent — making it the party’s second safest seat in the State.

The constituency covers almost 1.6 million square kilometres and stretches from the Wheatbelt town of Merredin, covering Broome and Derby and up to Kununurra in the North West.

Liberal hopeful Melissa Price has been touted as the favourite but that was before Julia Gillard was replaced by Kevin Rudd, who has led an ALP resurrection in the polls — giving hope to Labor’s Daron Keogh.

But the Nationals were only 6.3 per cent behind Labor in 2010. It is conceivable that Nationals candidate Shane Van Styn could overtake Keogh, who has a double degree in business and has served in the Australian Army.

Although the nationals will be helped out with the retirement of Barry Haase, beating the Liberal Party would be a mammoth task.

This week the six contenders unveiled their election platforms for the Kimberley and spoke of the differences they hoped to make by being a voice for the region in Canberra.

One of the Liberals main pre election topics has been border protection — something Ms Price puts at the top of her list.

“The Liberals are determined to implement tried and tested policies and, unlike the Labor Party, have the resolve and know-how to dismantle the people smugglers’ business model,” she told The Kimberley Echo.

Mr Keogh instead chose to focus on regional jobs as his first priority. “Employment creation and sustainability are important for our regional development,” he said.

Mr Van Styn said the long-term vision for agriculture would “provide real jobs and economic sustainability for the Kimberley”.

The Greens’ Ian James underlined housing affordability and ensured development in the Kimberley would be done in a consultative way “so that we don’t have a situation like James Price Point dividing the community.

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