Margin: Labor 6.7%
Region: East Metropolitan
Outgoing member: Eric Ripper (Labor)
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: The electorate of Belmont covers is centred on Perth Airport, taking most of its voters from Belmont, Cloverdale, Rivervale and Redcliffe to the west, and a smaller number at South Guildford to the north. It existed as an electorate between 1962 and 1974 and again since 1989, being held at all times by Labor. The coming election will see the retirement of its member of 24 years, Eric Ripper, who was Deputy Premier and Treasurer through the Gallop-Carpenter years and Opposition Leader from the 2008 election defeat until January 2012. Ripper came to parliament after winning the seat of Ascot in a by-election held to replace Burke government Deputy Premier Mal Bryce in 1988, moving to the successor seat of Belmont at the next year’s election.
Ripper’s successor as Labor candidate is Cassie Rowe, the state party’s assistant secretary. Peter Kerr of the Australian Financial Review reported that Rowe had secured the backing of the Australian Workers Union, which had traditionally been weak in Western Australia but was looking to expand its reach. Kerr’s report further spoke of a deal in which Rowe would receive Left support in exchange for the AWU supporting Simone McGurk’s preselection in Fremantle. It was earlier reported that the seat might be of interest to Reece Whitby, the Channel Seven reporter whom Alan Carpenter recruited for a dramatically unsuccessful ran in Morley at the 2008 election, in the event that Nollamara MP Janine Freeman’s mooted plan to run in Morley came to fruition.
The Liberals have preselected the mayor of Belmont, Glenys Godfrey.
One of the most hotly contested points of difference in the campaign has involved the competing concepts for an airport rail link, the chief difference being the location of the station serving the domestic airport. Labor proposes a station some distance from the existing terminal 1.5 kilometres away, by the disputed reckoning of the Liberal Party which will equally service the suburb of Redcliffe and obviate the need for an expensive tunnel under a runway. This was mocked by the Liberals with radio advertisements mimicking an airport announcer who explained the practical difficulties for travellers requiring a shuttle bus to complete their connection. Labor responded that the domestic airport terminal was scheduled to close in 2020, although The West Australian’s aviation editor Geoffrey Thomas told 6PR that the industry doubted it would happen quite so soon. The Liberals argue that their domestic terminal station would remain of value after its closure by serving the upmarket business park that will be built there.
Analysis written by William Bowe. All post-redistribution margins are as calculated by Antony Green at ABC Elections. Read William’s blog, The Poll Bludger.