WITH fewer than 12 months to the next State Election, local candidates are beginning to launch their campaigns after Liberal and Labor endorsements this week.
To mark the countdown to the March 2013 poll, the Courier investigated how active our politicians have been in Parliament and whether voters got value for money.
In the Lower House, the region’s three MLAs – Mark McGowan (Rockingham), Paul Papalia (Warnbro) and Roger Cook (Kwinana) – rose to speak, asked or answered questions in Parliament more than 300 times each.
The trio were all endorsed by Labor to recontest their seats.
Mr McGowan trumped all his local parliamentary colleagues, rising to speak a remarkable 2543 times since the 2008 election.
Mr Papalia rose to speak 301 times while Mr Cook rose 571 times.
The story was different in the Upper House, with South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman rising just 24 times since entering Parliament in his first term in early 2009.
His five other South Metropolitan Region MLC counterparts – Nick Goiran, Sue Ellery, Simon O’Brien, Kate Doust and Lynn MacLaren – all rose to speak more than 100 times, with Transport Minster Mr O’Brien speaking 1627 times.
Mr Edman said he was not concerned he had spoken less in Parliament than the other South Metropolitan MLCs because they were members of committees, one was a Minister and members of the Opposition needed to rise more often.
“Sue Ellery, Kate Doust and Lynn Mac-Laren are in Opposition, therefore it is not surprising they have risen in Parliament on many occasions,” he said.
“I am pleased and satisfied with my involvement in the Upper House in my first term. During this time many projects I have been involved with have been completed or are progressing at a fast pace to ensure the South Metropolitan electorate has the adequate amenities and facilities.”
Mr O’Brien threw his support behind Mr Edman and said he was a “remarkable member” who got more done than most politicians.
“How many times you get up in the House is not a good indicator of value,” he said.
Mr Edman said much of his work was completed outside of parliamentary chambers through his role as chairman of the Rockingham Kwinana Development Office or as chairman of the Western Trade Coast Industries Committee.
He listed the Lark Hill Sports Complex, Rockingham Waterfront Village, Kwinana Town Centre redevelopment, extension of Mundijong Road and proposed Mangles Bay Marina among projects completed or which moved forward with his involvement.