vasse mla’s star is rising

Warren HatelyBusselton Dunsborough Times
New State Liberal deputy Libby Mettam MLA fronts the media on Tuesday alongside new leader Zak Kirkup MLA.
Camera IconNew State Liberal deputy Libby Mettam MLA fronts the media on Tuesday alongside new leader Zak Kirkup MLA. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian, Ian Munro Picture: Ian Munro

A changing of the guard for the WA Liberal Party has thrust Vasse MLA Libby Mettam into the limelight.

Ms Mettam was the sole nominee for the Liberals’ deputy position this week, joining new party leader Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup.

Ms Mettam pledged her new position would “provide a stronger voice for regional WA”.

Under the new-look Liberals, Ms Mettam said road and community safety, creating more jobs, tackling youth unemployment, and helping mothers return to the workforce were all a key focus.

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“Likewise, community safety is not negotiable, and as we move towards the election, we will maintain a strong focus on local police and tougher laws to ensure we keep people safe and secure,” she said.

“We will also provide stronger support to families to assist them in reducing increasing cost of living expenses given the hikes we have seen under the McGowan Labor Government.”

She reiterated Mr Kirkup’s commitment to WA’s chief medical officer’s advice in all matters relating to COVID-19.

Margaret River-based Liberal colleague Steve Thomas welcomed Ms Mettam’s elevation, describing both new leaders as “from the South West”.

“During the last week, I have made repeated public calls for unity within the party for the good of the State, and I stand by those calls,” he said.

“Now is the time for us to put our best foot forward.”

With Mr Kirkup’s seat held by the slimmest of margins, a predicted disastrous election result against the McGowan Government powerhouse in March could also catapult Ms Mettam into the Opposition leader’s role.

Ms Mettam declined to comment. Dr Thomas said he believed Mr Kirkup would retain Dawesville. “He is a great local member who has built a strong relationship with his community,” he said.

Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman said it was good to have new Liberal leadership which understood regional WA.

“This can only be good for the Capes region,” he said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Libby on issues affecting the South West region.”

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