Peel thunder: match line-ups

The Western Australian Electoral Commission has unveiled the candidates for the February 3 Peel by-election, who are listed below in ballot paper order. More information will be added here as it becomes available.

Brian McCarthy (Citizens Electoral Council). Amanda Haines of the Mandurah Mail reports that McCarthy is "a powerhouse operator with Alcoa for 30 years until his recent retirement, he also served as a convenor for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union for almost 10 years". He is the chairman of the party’s state executive committee and was its candidate against Kim Beazley in Brand at the 2001 federal election, and in the new seat of Murray at the 2005 state election.

Robert Woodward (Independent). The Mandurah Mail reports that Woodward "owns and operates a customised taxi service catering to community members with disabilities and has also been employed in public transport and banking".

Brent Tremain (Christian Democratic Party). A Port Kennedy resident and owner-manager of a brick paving business, Tremain was also the CDP’s candidate for Peel at the 2005 state election. He has a campaign website called

Gerard Kettle (Independent). A Rockingham city councillor and manager of the Warnbro Fair Shopping Centre, Kettle came to notice during the 2004 election when he ran as an independent against Kim Beazley in Brand, after originally nominating for Liberal preselection. Styling himself an "independent Labour" candidate, the ALP argued that Kettle was in fact running at the behest of the Liberals. Roger Martin of The Australian reported that Kettle was sub-leasing half of his campaign office at Rockingham City Shopping Centre to the Liberal candidate, Phil Edman.

Paul Papalia (Labor). Papalia is a counter-terrorism expert and decorated former navy diver who served in Iraq during the 2003 war and with the United Nations Special Commission in 1992 and 1993. His preselection has attracted numerous comparisons with that of Peter Tinley, the former SAS major endorsed as Labor’s candidate for the federal seat of Stirling. Graham Mason of The West Australian reports that Papalia won an administrative committe vote eight votes to six ahead of Pamela Kay, a Left-backed candidate of apparently low profile. The committee is normally dominated by an alliance of the Left factions and the two members of the "New Right", but Alan Carpenter succeeded in securing backing for Papalia from the New Right members and Senator Ruth Webber. Webber had become alienated from her AMWU Left faction after losing a winnable spot on the Senate ticket, when the faction shifted its support to East Metropolitan MLC Louise Pratt. Kwinana mayor and Police Union solicitor Carol Adams had earlier been mentioned as the front-runner.

Craig Bradshaw (One Nation). Bradshaw is the proprietor of an engineering business and one of the party’s three state vice-presidents.

Dawn Jecks (Greens). The Mandurah Mail reports that Jecks has "a background as a geotechnician and laboratory business manager in WA’s resource development industry", has "worked on the Preserve Point Peron for the People campaign", was "a founder of the Rockingham Anti-Nuclear Group (RANG)", and "helped to oppose the proposed Waikiki electricity sub-station". Jecks has been busy recently writing letters opposing uranium mining to publications including the Sunday Times and The Bulletin.

Graeme Coleman (Liberal). A local businessman and former head of the South Coast Business Development Organisation, Coleman was preselected after what was described as a "four-way battle". Others mentioned as potential Liberal candidates were Rob Brown, the candidate from 2005, and the aforementioned Phil Edman, the federal candidate for Brand in 2004.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

53 comments on “Peel thunder: match line-ups”

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  1. I’m calling this for the Libs, a gain by about 1% and a swing similar to that suffered by the Libs in the Pittwater by-election in NSW last year. The WA Govt is a shambles and despite Alan Carpenter’s papering-over-the-cracks reshuffle the rot is still there. A punishing by-election is what all of WA needs!

  2. dave,

    agree that a punishing by election is what the gov’t needs, but awt this late stage i stick by my prediction of a big win by labor. i think the libs will get about a five per cent swing. i just think such a strong labor area, full of forgiving people will tend to give the government yet another chance to actually do something for the area.

    labor will win, but not fr the right reasons.

    did anyone hear the coleman vs papalia ‘debate’ on 6pr the other day?

  3. I’ve put up a new post on the Peel by-election, so I’m closing this thread down. Anyone with last-minute thoughts to add can do so here. I will also be covering the results live from about 6.30pm tomorrow, so please tune in.

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