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Paul Papalia was re-elected as the member for Warnbro at Saturday’s State election in convincing fashion, with several major funding promises for the electorate set to come to fruition after the Labor Party won power.
Mr Papalia has held the seat since its creation in 2008 and as of noon Monday had polled 61.8 per cent of the primary vote.
With two-party preferences this increased to 74.2 per cent, compared with nearest challenger, the Liberals’ Luke Muscedere, with 25.8 per cent.
Mr Papalia said he was delighted to have the backing of people in the Warnbro electorate.
“It’s actually tremendously humbling — it is a great honour to again be able to represent the people of the electorate,” he told the Telegraph on Monday.
“They so overwhelmingly endorsed my re-election — I really appreciate it and I am humbled by it.
“I am incredibly grateful and thankful to the voters and I will do my best to live up to their expectations.
“I am also thankful for all of those that have supported my campaign — I appreciate all of their efforts.”
Beneficiaries of Labor’s victory include Warnbro Bowling Club, Rockingham Lakes Primary School and the Secret Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club, which were promised funding in the election build-up.
However, the biggest commitment in the Warnbro electorate is the construction of a new railway station.
“I’m very happy that we have won government so we can deliver on what we had offered the electorate should we win,” Mr Papalia said. “The biggest thing in the electorate is the new train station in Karnup near Golden Bay.
“That is a significant commitment.
“We will start building in 2020 to be open in 2022 — that’s in the order of $40 million — it will revolutionise transport in the southern suburbs.”
Mr Papalia has held the shadow portfolios of defence, corrective services and tourism during his time in opposition.
He said he would relish the chance to become a minister once Premier-elect Mark McGowan decided on a Cabinet.
“I would hope to be in the Cabinet — it would be wonderful to be able to take on that role after eight and a half years in shadow cabinet,” Mr Papalia said.
“If I am lucky enough to be given a Cabinet position, the specific job is entirely up to Mark. I would just be happy and honoured to have one.”
Mr Papalia served in the Royal Australian Navy before moving into politics and has a passion for the defence portfolio.
He said Labor would fight to bring Federal defence work to WA — namely to businesses in the Henderson region.
“What it will mean is a more robust and aggressive advocacy on behalf our WA defence industries,” he said. “We will argue that more of the defence dollars should be spent in WA.
“It should be more of the shipbuilding and submarine building contracts rather than just maintenance.
“There is a lot of money in maintenance in the long term but that is decades away.
“What we need right now is fabrication work and construction — we have a tiny portion.”
This article first appeared on thewest.com.au
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