This time last year, WA Nationals leader Mia Davies was given the unenviable task of scraping together the survivors of Labor’s bloodbath State election win and rewriting the Opposition rulebook. It has not been easy, but Opposition Leader Mia Davies said she could not fault the effort of her team 12 months on. “In the face of enormous adversity for a small team, I am really happy with the way every single MP on our side of politics has stepped up, because it has been a monumental task,” she said during a visit to Geraldton last week. “What we have said to the team is that we don’t want to be Opposition for the sake of it. We still want to be able to put forward sensible solutions and highlight issues that are important to the community. “Every member has doubled down and just got on with what they need to do, in the face of some pretty vitriolic criticism.” Just six of the 52 seats in the 41st Parliament’s Lower House are held by the Opposition, with Labor also in control of the Upper House. The Nationals and Liberals quickly agreed on a formal alliance, which would allow the parties to share their mammoth workload while also allowing the Nationals to maintain their independence. The power of the Opposition to amend legislation in the Upper House all but vanished at the election but the allies have managed to use Parliament as a platform to put pressure on the Government to act on issues local to the city and regional WA. With COVID continuing to dominate the political agenda in 2021, Ms Davies is hopeful her team will gain headway on delivering solutions issues unique to regional WA over the next 12 months. “As that cloud of COVID lifts we are going to see more and more people understanding what we have been talking about for the last 12 months, which is that there has been serious underinvestment by this Government,” she said. “We have issues happening in every portfolio . . . there is no shortage of issues where you can point out and say ‘this Government should be doing better’, particularly given its resources and strong numbers. “Their priorities are wrong and that makes it frustrating.” The Nationals will this year start to plan for the 2025 State election campaign but Ms Davies said the “theatrics” and culture of Parliament continued to be a barrier for many prospective candidates. “The theatrics (of Question Time) is part of it, but it is not the bit that actually delivers an outcome for your community,” she said. “You can choose to enter into it and play the game, or you can say ‘I don’t want to fundamentally be changed as a result of sitting in this environment’, and get on with the things you know are important. I have got no interest in playing those games.” To those who do choose to enter the political arena, Ms Davies said there is no greater honour than working to see your community thrive. “I would like to have more people on our side, fighting the fight, and that is our task over the next three years, to inspire and encourage others to put their hand up and be a part of that,” she said. “It is a very rewarding job when you can sit in the Cabinet room and make decisions for your community and you can deliver positive outcomes, that’s why you keep doing it.” Ms Davies grew up on a farm near Wyalkatchem and is the daughter of former WA Nationals politician Dexter Davies. She worked in the offices of WA Nationals leaders Max Trenorden and Brendon Grylls before being elected to the Legislative Council for the WA Nationals in the Agricultural Region in 2008. In 2013, Ms Davies replaced Mr Grylls in the Lower House seat of Central Wheatbelt and went on to become a senior minister in Colin Barnett’s government. She was elected the Nationals’ first female leader in 2017 after challenging Terry Redman.