Federal election 2022: Tangney MP Ben Morton defends time away from electorate in ‘grubby’ campaign

Indigo Lemay-ConwayPerthNow - Melville
CommentsComments
Tangney MP Ben Morton has slammed election pamphlets questioning his time outside the electorate.
Camera IconTangney MP Ben Morton has slammed election pamphlets questioning his time outside the electorate. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The final days in the battle for Tangney have turned bitter, with sitting member Ben Morton blasting personal attack advertisements targeting him for spending too much time outside his home State.

Pamphlets delivered to homes in the marginal southern suburbs electorate are critical that Mr Morton, who is Australia’s Minister for the Public Service and considered one of the Prime Minister’s chief lieutenants, spent almost 400 days interstate in the past two years.

Mr Morton described the advertisements as “desperate and offensive to West Australians who were required to work both interstate and locally during the pandemic over the past two years”.

DISCOVER THE LATEST NEWS FROM YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD WITH PERTHNOW DIGITAL EDITIONS

“It’s dishonest, grubby and it shouldn’t be rewarded,” he said of the pamphlet advertising.

“It hasn’t been easy and I’m not complaining, but I shouldn’t be attacked for doing my job.

“I’ve been very open and honest about the role I’ve played as the Minister for the Public Service in supporting the Government’s response to the pandemic. I’ve been required to be in Canberra a lot to do that role over this time.”

Tangney is considered a very safe Liberal seat with a margin of 9.5 per cent but a strong Labor campaign has given former police officer Sam Lim a realistic chance of unseating Mr Morton this Saturday night.

Mr Lim said spending every day of the past six months within the electorate’s 26 suburbs proved his bona fides to the local community.

“I have spent every day of the last six months in the local area, meeting with community groups and understanding the needs of locals,” the former police officer said.

Both the Labor and Liberal parties have made similar election commitments in Tangney, promising to rehabilitate the environment, support local sports and community clubs and improve road congestion.

The infamous intersection at the corner of Nicholson Road and Garden Street in Canning Vale, which has the third-highest crash rate in WA, received the wealthiest election promise from both parties. Mr Lim and Mr Morton each promised $35 million to build a flyover and help ease traffic congestion.

One of Mr Lim’s final pledges this week was for $3.45 million to support the area’s culturally and linguistic diversity community.

Mr Morton committed $3.75m to local multicultural groups Chinese Mums Association, Sikh Association of WA and Perth Hindu Temple in Canning Vale.

“Tangney is an incredibly diverse community, with many organisations doing great work,” Mr Lim said.

Labor candidate for Tangney Sam Lim doorknocking in Canning Vale.
Camera IconLabor candidate for Tangney Sam Lim doorknocking in Canning Vale. Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

“I am proud to have made election commitments to 13 local sporting clubs, six local schools and pledged funding for important infrastructure and environmental projects.

“These latest commitments will assist important multicultural groups serve not only their community but the wider community as well.”

Mr Morton said his experience as a local MP and as a Minister brought benefits to the local area, regardless of where he was working.

“I’m confident that the electors in Tangney want a local MP that listens and delivers locally while at the same time being a strong voice nationally. That’s what I offer, I’m not just another backbench seat warmer,” he said.

“We’re upgrading local infrastructure by expanding the Rostrata Community Centre and investing in better recreational facilities for our kids.

“We’re building a new Canning Bridge Bus Interchange, taking it off Canning Highway.

“We have funded planning and design work for a flyover at Nicholson Road and Garden Street in Canning Vale and for a new interchange at Stock Road and Leach Highway.

“We will build new facilities to support our multicultural communities.

“Like many others, I’ve been prevented from being home in my community and with my family, but I’ve responded by working even harder for my community, ensuring my local mobile offices and community engagements continue.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails