North West voters have three choices

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Liberal candidate for North West Central Alys McKeough on her cattle station in Upper Gascoyne Shire.
Camera IconLiberal candidate for North West Central Alys McKeough on her cattle station in Upper Gascoyne Shire. Credit: Alys McKeough/Supplied

Voters in the vast, sparsely populated electorate of North West Central will choose between an MP seeking a fourth term, a registered nurse and station runner, and an Indigenous community service worker when they go to the polls on March 13.

Sitting member WA Nationals’ Vince Catania has held North West Central since 2008.

It is considered a safe seat for the Nationals with a margin of 10.1 per cent based on 2017 polling booth statistics.

However, Mr Catania polled just 35.26 per cent of the primary vote, relying heavily on Liberal preferences.

North West Central member Vince Catania at Fascine waterway.
Camera IconNorth West Central member Vince Catania at Fascine waterway. Credit: Vince Catania MLA/Supplied

With a slight boundary change in 2019, the electorate now includes Kalbarri, while retaining the whole of the shires of Ashburton, Carnarvon, Shark Bay, Murchison, Yalgoo, Mount Magnet, Sandstone, Cue, Meekatharra, Wiluna and Ngaanyatjarraku.

Mr Catania divides his time between sitting days in Perth, his Carnarvon office, and mobile offices in his electorate.

He is opposed this time by Liberal candidate Alys McKeough, a registered nurse and business-woman who runs a cattle station with husband Harry. She is an Upper Gascoyne Shire councillor and former Gascoyne Development Commission board member.

Ms McKeough said her campaign had mostly centred on social media and canvassing.

Cherie Sibosado is the Labor candidate for North West Central.
Camera IconCherie Sibosado is the Labor candidate for North West Central. Credit: Geoff Vivian/The Geraldton Guardian

“Any towns with mailboxes, we’ve delivered to,” she said.

Labor candidate Cherie Sibosado is a member of a well-known Aboriginal family from Lombardina community north of Broome.

“Having spent most of my life in regional and remote communities in WA, I am aware of the challenges in the bush,” she said.

“I’ve worked in employment and community services so I know how important it is to invest in local jobs.”

Ms Sibosado has been General Manager of the Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, an Aboriginal social enterprise delivering on-country education and development programs, and employment and enterprise services.

She recently stood down to fight the election.

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