Margin: Liberal 11.1%
Region: South West
Click here for electoral boundaries map
Electorate analysis: Dawesville was created in 1996 after rapid growth in Mandurah required a second electorate to accommodate it. It has since covered the higher income suburbs south of the Mandurah Estuary, from Halls Head south through Falcon to Dawesville itself. As non-metropolitan electorates, both Dawesville and Mandurah were required to increase in size under the one-vote one-value redistribution before the 2008 election, causing Dawesville to creep across the estuary to take in Labor-voting Dudley Park. Neither electorate has been affected by the latest redistribution.
The member for Dawesville from 1996 to 2005 by Arthur Marshall, who had been member for Murray from 1993, and whose daughter Dixie Marshall is now Colin Barnett’s high-profile chief-of-staff. The preselection in 2005 was won narrowly by Kim Hames, who had been Housing, Aboriginal Affairs and Water Resources Minister in the last years of the Court government before losing his northern suburbs seat of Yokine in 2001. This was achieved without demur from then Opposition Leader Colin Barnett, who had declared himself resistant to the return of defeated ex-members (specifically Graham Kierath and Doug Shave).
Hames was immediately appointed Shadow Health Minister upon his return to parliament, and rose to the deputy leadership with the ascension of Troy Buswell in January 2008. At the height of the chair-sniffing saga in early May, Hames was said to be the favourite to assume the leadership if Buswell fell on his sword. However, he publicly opposed the unsuccessful spill motion, and retained his deputy’s position after Colin Barnett’s return to the leadership, first in opposition and then in government. He likewise carried the health and indigenous affairs portfolios into government, exchanging the latter for tourism in December 2010. In January 2011, Barnett unhesitatingly nominated Hames as his “natural successor” in response to a journalist’s inquiry, reportedly to the displeasure of the now outgoing member for Bateman, Christian Porter.
Labor’s candidate will be Fred Riebeling, who is emerging from retirement after a parliamentary career lasting from 1992 to 2008. Riebeling progressively represented the southern Pilbara electorates of Ashburton, Burrup and North West Coastal, and served as Speaker throughout the life of the Gallop-Carpenter government. He bowed out at the 2008 election and moved to Mandurah, where he was elected to the local council in 2011.