Federal election 2022: Durack voters turn out to cast their ballot and grab a democracy sausage

Phoebe Pin, Sam Jones & Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
Durack incumbent Liberal MP Melissa Price after voting in Geraldton.
Camera IconDurack incumbent Liberal MP Melissa Price after voting in Geraldton. Credit: Phoebe Pin

Cost of living has been a hot topic throughout the election campaign, but Durack incumbent Melissa said few Mid West constituents had raised concerns with her at the polls.

“People aren’t talking to me about the cost of living. I think people appreciate that in our last budget that we have given people some assistance,” she said.

“I have no doubt there are some people who are experiencing cost of living pressures... but by and large people are feeling hopeful about the future.”

Ms Price was in Dongara before she cast her vote in Geraldton on Saturday morning, saying much of the Mid West appeared to be suffering from election fatigue.

“No one is really talking about what the issues are, they have had enough of politics, they have had enough of politicians , they just want to get in and vote and get on with their lives,” she said.

The smell of sizzling democracy sausages filled the air as voters in Geraldton turned out to cast their ballot in the Federal election, which nationally is tipped to go down to the wire.

Wandina Primary School students Chane Pretorius, Oscar Wright, Cooper Wright, Oscar Chapell, Will Chapell, Hunter Lines and Lucas Cragan with school dads Rory Chapell and Jamie Cragan.
Camera IconWandina Primary School students Chane Pretorius, Oscar Wright, Cooper Wright, Oscar Chapell, Will Chapell, Hunter Lines and Lucas Cragan with school dads Rory Chapell and Jamie Cragan. Credit: Kate Campbell

Polling booths were noticeably quieter than on previous election days, indicating many voters may have cast their ballots early.

After a remaining relatively low-key for much of the election campaign, Mrs Price has cast her vote at Geraldton Senior High School.

Mrs Price is the favourite to win the safe Liberal seat but said the competition between Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison would be much closer.

“I said from the beginning it was going to be close, I didn’t think it was going to be quite so close,” she said.

“I am still very hopeful that we have been able to make the case that, especially during COVID, the way that we have been able to manage the economy has made people realise that what we need for the future of our country is to make sure we have a Morrison Government, and I think commonsense will prevail.”

Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna, Federal Senator Patrick Dodson, Labor candidate for Durack Jeremiah Riley and Mining and Pastoral MLC Rosie Sahana at the Broome Civic Centre.
Camera IconKimberley MLA Divina D'Anna, Federal Senator Patrick Dodson, Labor candidate for Durack Jeremiah Riley and Mining and Pastoral MLC Rosie Sahana at the Broome Civic Centre. Credit: Sam Jones/Broome Advertiser

Labor candidate for Durack Jeremiah Riley says the voters around Durack are ready for change — and he believes he will be the man chosen.

Casting his vote at the Broome Civic Centre and flanked by Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna, Senator Patrick Dodson and Mining and Pastoral MLC Rosie Sahana, Mr Riley said he was optimistic the blue-ribbon seat could turn red.

Mr Riley is considered somewhat of an underdog, coming up against incumbent Liberal member and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, who has held the seat since 2013.

Durack is held by Mrs Price on a margin of 13.5 per cent.

Election volunteers at Wandina Primary School: Wendy Sekuloff (Greens), Wayne Donaldson (ALP), Mia Davies (Nationals), Sarah Hinton (ALP), Lyn Dellar (Liberal) and Joan Orsi (One Nation).
Camera IconElection volunteers at Wandina Primary School: Wendy Sekuloff (Greens), Wayne Donaldson (ALP), Mia Davies (Nationals), Sarah Hinton (ALP), Lyn Dellar (Liberal) and Joan Orsi (One Nation). Credit: Kate Campbell

WA Opposition Leader Mia Davies was a lone figure for the Nationals at the Wandina Primary School polling booth in Geraldton.

She is representing the Nationals after the party’s Durack candidate and former Geraldton MP Ian Blayney and a number of campaign volunteers were struck down by COVID.

“I think it’s just the world we’re living in at the moment … everyone’s had it. Unfortunately that’s just one of the things we have to cope with. We’ve seen a number of polling booths with workers unable to open, and I was particularly worried about that when you’ve got country communities that don’t really have alternatives,” she said. “I think what’s happened is a lot of people have voted early because certainly the numbers are much lower this morning from what I’ve seen in past experience.”

Kieran Rigter and Isla Grose, 5, at the Wandina Primary School polling booth.
Camera IconKieran Rigter and Isla Grose, 5, at the Wandina Primary School polling booth. Credit: Kate Campbell

Ms Davies was loathed to predict the result nationally.

“Obviously we’re hopeful to see the return of the Morrison Government and there’s a task for the Labor Party to win seven seats across the nation. Durack is a very safe seat and Melissa (Price) has been a strong representative but we always make sure we’ve got a candidate for people to vote for,” she said.

“It’s so hard to predict (nationally) and I’m loathed to do it, even when you look at polling because it can be so unpredictable. You’ve got a number of Independents who have run campaigns across the nation … you just don’t know what people do when they get into the polling booth.”

Adam Kelly, Levi Kelly, 4, Hayley Kelly and Mason Kelly, 6, enjoy their cupcakes and sausage sizzle.
Camera IconAdam Kelly, Levi Kelly, 4, Hayley Kelly and Mason Kelly, 6, enjoy their cupcakes and sausage sizzle. Credit: Kate Campbell

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