Liberal MP Nola Marino has continued adding to her long list of commitments if she keeps her safe Liberal seat, while her Labor rival campaigns a strong WA partnership with Canberra as the fight for the Forrest electorate heats up. In just over three weeks Australians will head to the polls for the Federal election, which is set to be fought on the country’s top issues of COVID recovery, health care, aged care, climate change, economic strategy and national security. There are now nine contenders for the seat of Forrest in the lead-up to the May 21 election, although the Liberal stronghold seat is only likely to be fought between the Liberal and Labor candidates. Current Liberal MP Nola Marino, who has held the seat since 2007, was once again endorsed by her party long before the election was called. In the electorate’s 100-year history Labor has held Forrest only twice, the electorate returning to Liberal hands in 1972, and sitting safely in the hands of Mrs Marino for almost 15 years. Support for the Liberal MP hasn’t waned over time, Mrs Marino maintaining a 21 per cent margin at the 2016 election, further increasing her hold on the seat in 2019 with a 26 per cent margin. When the 2022 election was called she had a long list of delivered projects to her name. “I am extremely proud of what I have been able to deliver as the Federal Member for Forrest,” Mrs Marino said. Among smaller community projects for towns within her electorate, she has helped secure more than $1 billion for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, 24 new mobile phone towers through Mobile Black Spot Program and the Regional Connectivity Program, and helped add or increase subsidies for more than 2800 medications to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. “Whether it’s getting $1b for the BORR or $1000 for a local community organisation, I will continue to work hard to deliver for our community as the Federal Member for Forrest,” Mrs Marino said. Labor put forward their candidate for Forrest back in October, thus beginning the race between red and blue, well before Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election on April 10. Bronwen English hopes to upset this blue balance and create what she called a “partnership with Canberra” with an Anthony Albanese-led Labor Government. “WA needs a partner in Canberra and an Albanese Labor government will be that partner,” Mrs English said. “The State members down here are passionate, energetic, amazing community members. “The Federal candidates would work so well alongside our State WA members.” In March Mrs English announced $18.3 million of funding would go to the South West Aboriginal Medical Centre to create a Health Hub if a Federal Labor government was elected. She has also reinforced Labor’s commitment to strengthening Medicare and supporting Australian manufacturing. One Nation, Greens WA, United Australia Party, Liberal Democrats and the Great Australian Party all put forward candidates in recent weeks, with the Australian Federation Party and the Western Australia Party making eleventh-hour endorsements just before candidate nominations closed on April 21. This historically blue-held seat covers the cities of Bunbury and Busselton and shires of Augusta-Margaret River, Capel, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup and Harvey, comprising, making it WA’s biggest rural electorate by population size. Capel Shire councillor Christine Terrantroy announced in March she would represent the Greens WA, Margaret River resident Helen Allan will stand for the United Australia Party, Perth-born Paul Markham has been nominated for the Liberal Democrats, Bunbury-based Tracy Aitken will represent the Great Australian Party, Busselton’s Shane Mezger will stand for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. The Australian Federation Party nominated Mailee Dunn and the Western Australia Party nominated Greg Stephens. As the parties now draw into the bulk of their campaigning, the latest polls show Scott Morrison has extended his lead as preferred prime minister, now sitting at to 46 per cent compared to Anthony Albanese’s 37 per cent, despite Labor leading the two-party preferred poll 53-47 per cent. The Prime Minister has committed to a raft of purpose-made measures designed to further strengthen WA’s economy, including a further $2.1b in WA’s road and rail infrastructure pipeline. Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles and shadow foreign minister Senator Penny Wong have both appeared on the campaign trail for Mr Albanese after he was forced into home isolation late last week with COVID-19.