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Sniggers for Carles Liberal insight
The West Australian Fremantle independent MP Adele Carles. File picture: The West Australian

Fremantle independent MP Adele Carles last night made her pitch to the local electorate in a bid to retain her seat, saying only she knew how to deal with a "tough" Liberal Government.

Speaking at a Fremantle candidates' debate at Notre Dame University, Ms Carles attracted sniggers from the audience after saying she knew "exactly how the Liberal Government works".

Though she faced no questions on the issue of her public spat with her former lover - Treasurer Troy Buswell - Ms Carles was happy to spruik her knowledge of his party.

She said constituents needed to "wise up and vote smart" with the Liberals predicted to win and Labor to lose seats.

"I know exactly how this Government operates," Ms Carles said. "I have a track record in working with the Liberal Government, I have a track record in exposing the Liberal Government."

Referring to her Labor opponent and the tipped frontrunner for the seat, UnionsWA secretary Simone McGurk, Ms Carles said now was not the time to vote for a novice or a union official "that the Liberals just won't work with".

However, Ms McGurk said the last four years had not been that great with funding axed for the Fremantle traffic bridge, the Stirling Highway upgrade over budget and the principal of John Curtin College of the Arts needing to write his controversial letter to parents to get action on much-needed upgrades.

"I don't think any party would take Fremantle for granted now," she said.

Ms McGurk, Ms Carles and Greens candidate Andrew Sullivan shared support at different times during the two-hour debate, while Liberal candidate Matthew Hanssen received a frostier reception from the left-leaning audience.

The need to revitalise Fremantle to boost the local economy dominated much of the debate, which was in a question and answer format from the crowd, with homelessness, the contentious High Street project, heritage, climate change and also council amalgamations also covered off.

In one of the few new policy positions announced, Ms McGurk said Labor would aim for a second Governent department to be based in Fremantle after the Department of Housing and nominated the department of culture and the arts.