2022 Federal Election: Canning Labor candidate Amanda Hunt optimistic about odds against Andrew Hastie
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2022 Federal Election: Canning Labor candidate Amanda Hunt optimistic about odds against Andrew Hastie

While the vast majority of Canning voters feel apathy about who they are voting for and who can rise to power once polls close, Labor candidate Amanda Hunt remains optimistic about her chances.

2022 Federal Election: Canning Labor candidate Amanda Hunt optimistic about odds against Andrew Hastie

Canning is considered a safe Liberal seat, currently occupied by Andrew Hastie by a margin of 11.6 percent, but Ms. Hunt believes she has changed some voters’ minds simply by chatting with them.

The former Uniting WA boss said during the campaign that she has spoken to many people, especially women, who are voting for Labour for the first time.

“I’m really moved and touched by women who came up to me and said, ‘I’ve been a liberal all my life. I can’t take it anymore,” Ms. Hunt told The West Australian.

This includes young mother Jess Howson, who didn’t vote for Labor in the last election but decided to do so this time.

“I didn’t like the housing (policy) that Scott Morrison did (retired),” Ms. Howson told The West Australian.

Morrison proposed a policy that would give first-time homebuyers access to 40 percent of their pension for a down payment on a home.

Ms. Howson, 34, said these policies were important to why she changed her vote.

Other voters in the voting booths in Mandurah were disillusioned with the entire democratic process and felt their vote was unimportant.

Sam Haddrick and Krystel Lister voted for Riverside Primary School in Greenfields. Still, they believed that elections were a mud-slinging exercise and that no action would be taken regardless of the outcome.

Camera IconLabor candidate for Canning Amanda Hunt at Falcon Primary School with volunteers. Credit: Hannah Cross

“It’s more about rejecting everyone than actually promoting what’s right,” Ms. Haddrick said.

Her partner, Krystel Lister, agreed.

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for. I don’t think anyone’s vote really matters,” Ms. Lister said.

“They tell us what we want to hear right before the vote, and nothing happens.

“It’s all about the money.”

But Ms. Hunt said she wants to show people that politics “don’t have to be dirty”.

“It doesn’t have to be mean. It can be active in our community, not just something that happens to us,” she said.

“Politics should be people who have the power to say this is what that is in our community.”

The Labor candidate said she hopes the Canning community will be heard and that it has “a chance to have a really strong voice in Canberra”.

Camera IconCanning is owned by liberal Andrew Hastie with a margin of 11.6 percent. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Ms. Hunt said if she won, she would be the first to go to Canberra, citing growing concerns about the cost of living.

“Whether it’s a young family in Byford or retirees. † † I’ve heard many people say they’re concerned about rising costs,” she said.

“The common theme is that people want to feel that their future is strong.”

As for the youth of the electorate? Twenty-one-year-old Haley Bauer says younger generations are becoming increasingly divided over their feelings about politics.

Ms. Bauer said that while some are politically active, there has certainly been increased apathy towards Australian politics.

“There are people who overdo it and try to get it to make the world a better place, and the other half say, there’s no f**king point,” she said.

Ms. Bauer said traditional political ads don’t work for young people either, noting that she hadn’t seen or heard of any political ads until she arrived at John Tonkin College’s Tindale campus to vote on Saturday afternoon.

“Things like that don’t appeal to the younger people,” she said.

“You don’t get anyone to listen by having old people throw flyers in your face.”

Ms. Hunt, who joined volunteers handing out flyers at various polling stations on the day, said she thinks Labor is a shoe for forming a government.

As for Canning, she says she is well aware that Mr. Hastie has a strong presence in Canning and that many feel he has done a good job.

Hastie declined to be interviewed by The West Australian.