In his 30 years as a journalist, Reece Whitby would go in to bat for people, expose injustices and try to help achieve a victory for the “little guy”.
And as the new Baldivis MLA, he hopes to continue to serve the community in the same vein.
With the WAEC having declared the result, Mr Whitby became the inaugural member for the electorate of Baldivis by securing 57.2 per cent of the two party preferred vote. This represents a swing of 0.8 per cent (on a notional basis) to WA Labor.
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A married father-of-four, Mr Whitby said he understood the needs of young families and the challenges facing residents in new suburbs.
“The number one priority is to work with Mark McGowan on creating jobs,” Mr Whitby said.
“We need to diversify the economy and broaden employment opportunities. We need more jobs closer to where people live. And we need to ensure WA jobs go to WA people.”
Mr Whitby said he was also dedicated to more training for young people for WA jobs rather than importing workers from overseas.
Mr Whitby started his working life as a cadet journalist on a Bunbury newspaper and later worked in radio and television. He spent most of his career at Channel Seven where he became a familiar face on Seven News for more than 20 years and served stints with the ABC and Channel 9.
Growing up in an outlying Perth suburb, Mr Whitby said his family experienced many of the issues that confront young families in new suburbs today, including the need for better transport links, properly resourced schools, good community facilities and safe neighbourhoods.
Mr Whitby is passionate about the importance of a good education and a strong believer that all children have the opportunity to succeed in life.
He is also concerned about freeway congestion and a supporter of METRONET, an integrated transport network designed to free up our roads.
Mr Whitby, who describes himself as committed, hardworking and energetic, has four children with his wife Natalie.
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