Geraldton Liberal candidate Rob Dines prepared to play pseudo-opposition role

Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
Rob Dines personally took down most of his campaign signs around Geraldton this week, including one of the last which could be seen up a hill from Whittenoon Street.
Camera IconRob Dines personally took down most of his campaign signs around Geraldton this week, including one of the last which could be seen up a hill from Whittenoon Street. Credit: Elise Van Aken

Geraldton may not have heard the last of former Liberal candidate Rob Dines, who says he’s prepared to play an ongoing role in holding the newly elected Labor Government to account.

With his party likely to fall out of opposition, having confirmed just two seats in the Legislative Assembly, the Ocean Air Solutions operations manager and Geraldton Liberal Party branch president said the Liberals would need to rethink existing policies on how to keep tabs on government.

This could include Mr Dines acting as a pseudo-opposition to new Geraldton member Lara Dalton.

“It’s a really interesting concept of how we keep pressure on the Government from the lay-party,” Mr Dines said.

“There are really strict rules from within the party about lay-party members speaking to the press and on behalf of the party — that’s not allowed.

“But the party is going to have to do something, otherwise there will be no voice. Two members of Parliament will not be enough to keep the focus on, so I’m keen to see how we can come to some understanding on that. I’ll be here, I’ll be present, and I’ll be available.”

The Geraldton seat was blue for more than 10 years under former MP Ian Blayney, before he defected to the Nationals in 2019.

Mr Dines said while he was looking forward to taking a holiday with his family over Easter to decompress from the election campaign and 21/2 weeks of working the pre-poll, it wouldn’t be long until he returned to the trail for Durack’s Liberal Federal member Melissa Price.

“Where we go to from here will be the next interesting thing. The party will do its review and we will need to formulate some kind of strategy so the conservative voice in Geraldton is not lost for four years,” he said.

“Melissa Price is acutely aware we no longer have any State Liberal Party members (of Parliament) in her Federal seat, and Geraldton is a key city within her seat — it’s the largest-population city within Durack.

“Together with the party headquarters in Perth, we will maintain the pressure on the Government here locally, because what we don’t want to see happen is Geraldton simply ignored as one more seat within a 52-seat Government, and that will be the challenge for the new member for Geraldton to get her voice heard.”

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