O’CONNOR MHR Wilson Tuckey has held the seat of O’Connor for the Liberal Party since 1980 — seven years before his ALP rival Dominic Rose, 20, was born.
But not afraid of one of the biggest challenges in Australian politics, Mr Rose gamely took put his hand up to run against Mr Tuckey at this year’s Federal Election.
He was the last member of the ALP to be preselected and he said it was a challenge nobody else was willing to take on.
“I need roughly 17,000 people to change their minds and vote for Labor if I am going to win,” Mr Rose said.
“It is a daunting task but I am not afraid of the challenge.”
Mr Rose said he respected Mr Tuckey because of what he had done for the people of O’Connor during the past 27 years but he was not afraid to throw a few punches.
“I take my hat off to Mr Tuckey but I don’t agree with him on everything,” he said.
“I think he is a bit outspoken and misguided sometimes and can embarrass himself and his party.
“John Howard and Mr Tuckey have taken O’Connor for granted and it’s time something was done about it.
“If the people of O’Connor want better roads, better hospitals and better schools, they need to vote Labor.”
Mr Rose said he decided to stand for election out of his loyalty to Labor but also as a way of gaining exposure to politics.
It was the last seat in WA to be decided for preselection and it is the first election Mr Rose has contested.
He has not even voted in a State or Federal election since after turning 18 two years ago.
Mr Rose is currently studying law and arts at the University of Western Australia, majoring in industrial relations.
“I have to take on Mr Tuckey but I also have to make sure that I pass my exams,” he said.