Polling day – Esperance highlights

What a weekend! West Australia took to the ballot boxes on Saturday, bringing a shake-up to the governance of the state.

Sand-gropers turned the tables, electing The Labor Party in what was a landslide for the incumbent Liberal Party. 

Liberal cabinet ministers failed to retain their seats, including Albert Jacob, John Day and Andrea Mitchell.

Several members of the party have never sat in opposition, including former deputy premier Liza Harvey and former treasurer Mike Nahan. 

In the electorate of Roe voters cast their ballots in favour of Nationals candidate Peter Rundle, dispelling incumbent Liberal MLA Graham Jacobs.

Dr Jacobs conceded on Sunday night, thanking his family and supporters, and looking forward to re-entering permanent medical practice. 

Dr Jacobs had represented the people of Esperance since 2005, boasting a decade long career in the Legislative Assembly.  

Mr Rundle’s major commitments in the region included a $10 million pledge to mend the troubled heritage-listed Tanker Jetty and a $2.5 million promise for the Culham Inlet Causeway.

While the commitments may have been a draw card for voters on polling day, a few major hurdles could make things hard for Mr Rundle to grasp, such as the Nationals gaining the balance of power.

Prior to the election day both Labor and the Liberals revealed Royalties for Regions would be redirected.

The major parties declared the funding would be diverted to pay for essential infrastructure and services that would normally be funded by consolidated revenue.

With votes still being counted it is still unclear exactly what the government make up will be, but concerns are mounting for the future of regional WA.

As of Monday morning, in Roe 66.06 per cent of the votes have been counted, with 16,644 valid and 658 informal votes.

Mr Rundle has secured 7,208 votes or 43.31 per cent, over Dr Jacobs with 3,850 votes or 23.13 per cent of the primary tally.

Mr Rundle has held the two-party preferred tally at 65-35.

Locally, voters were met with sunny conditions at the three polling locations in Esperance. 

Nulsen Primary School was a flurry on Saturday morning, mixing the polling day with the Esperance Growers Markets. 

It was the only location that hosted a democracy sausage, to the delight of locals (and The Esperance Express journalists).

Esperance Express journalist's Sam and Caitlyn ingulfing their democracy sausages at the Nulsen Primary School.

Esperance Express journalist's Sam and Caitlyn ingulfing their democracy sausages at the Nulsen Primary School.

According to local voters, the humble democracy sausage hasn’t been a regular occurrence at voting booths. 

A group dedicated to mapping the election snag, appropriately titled the Council of Australian Sausage, were just as excited as hungry locals that the democracy sausage would make an appearance this election.

Castletown Primary School was fairly tame and The Esperance Senior Citizen’s Centre looked like an obstacle course for local voters with signage strewn across the entry. 

Nationals upper house candidate for the Agricultural Region Colin de Grussa was quick to point out that Labor’s election signage promoted WA jobs but was made interstate.