Federal Liberal member for Du- rack Barry Haase’s retirement could result in a more even playing field in the lead-up to Federal election.
Mr Haase’s withdrawal has resulted in the ALP’s Daron Keogh and Nationals’ Shane Van Styn being the current contenders for the Durack lower house seat.
ALP candidate Daron Keogh visited Carnarvon earlier this month as part of a regional tour.
First-time candidate, Mr Keogh is based in Fitzroy Crossing and grew up in WA’s Wheatbelt.
He is under no illusions about his chances in the upcoming election, but is determined to establish a solid footing in the electorate.
“I am realistic about the challenge ahead and if the best I can do this time around is to make myself known in the electorate and know the issues in each region I will be happy,” he said.
Mr Keogh said families and small business were some of the key priorities for his campaign. He said WA’s fly-in, fly-out culture was problematic as it did not put the needs of families first.
Geraldton-based Nationals candidate Shane Van Styn’s hopes lifted after Mr Haase announced his retirement at the weekend.
Mr Van Styn ran a close second in the State election as the Nation- al candidate for Geraldton.
“Some specific priorities for the Gascoyne Region include obtaining funding for the Ningaloo Re- search Centre, helping revive the live export trade and increasing our naval presence,” he said.
Mr Van Styn said gaining funding for an event and suitable monument to mark the 400th year since Dirk Hartog landed at Cape Inscription was also important.
Outgoing member Mr Haase said there were major issues in the Gascoyne for the new Durack member, including restoring the live cattle trade to Indonesia.
He also said Carnarvon needed more development as it is a jewel of the north.
The Liberal Party is expected to announce a new candidate for Durack within the next two months.
Newly formed Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party and the Rise- Up Australia Party are both expected to announce candidates for Durack in the next month.
Mr Haase was first elected to Parliament in 1998 and won the seat of Durack in an electoral re- distribution in 2010.