The leader of the WA Liberals visited the Murray-Wellington electorate that was followed a day later by a local government heavyweight throwing his hat in the ring to represent the party. Libby Mettam held informal discussions with representatives of the Shire of Waroona and Waroona Community Resource Centre last Tuesday, in what is likely to be a key battleground in the 2025 State Election. The visit was a day before Murray shire president David Bolt revealed he would seek Liberal preselection for Murray-Wellington, setting up a potential showdown with incumbent Labor MLA Robyn Clarke. Speaking during her Waroona visit, Ms Mettam described her party as the only one who “supports all Western Australians”. “Unlike Labor, who have ripped out funding but also representation from the regions through their so-called Electoral Reform Bill, what we will be very much focused on is supporting regional communities,” she said. “(We are) also committing to a very strong platform around law and order, health and cost of living pressures, which are really felt out in these communities.” Ms Mettam said it was vitally important for her to get out to the regions, highlighting the role of Community Resource Centres in many towns. “In 2018, the Labor government did try to shut CRCs down and cut funding,” she said. “This was something that we certainly campaigned against as an Opposition and through that, we also appreciate the vital role that they play in supporting communities.” Ms Clarke disputed Ms Mettam’s claims the State Government planned to shut down CRCs. “There was a review done in 2018 because there were quite a few CRCs being investigated for misconduct...(but) after the review, it was shown that was not the case,” she said. Ms Clarke also described Ms Mettam’s comments about Labor reducing regional representation in the upper house as “a joke”, saying most of the public will go to a member of the lower house if they have issues. Ms Mettam’s visit was followed by Murray shire president David Bolt’s confirmation on Wednesday he will nominate to be the Liberal’s candidate for Murray-Wellington at next year’s State Election. He was re-elected unopposed to lead the council in October, but said he believed he was now ready to have “influence on a broader landscape” after six years in local government. Mr Bolt said he still needed to go through the preselection process, when nominations close on February 14, but would be “honoured to stand” if party members chose him. “I’m only doing this because I believe I can win and add real value,” he said. “The Labor Party has had control of both the Lower and Upper houses and I think the mood is changing in the community and people are now thinking that is not in the best interests of the State.” It is understood Mr Bolt is, so far, not facing any serious competition for preselection, with 2021 candidate and Harvey shire councillor Michelle Boylan understood to instead be vying for preselection for the Upper House. The traditional safe conservative electorate has been held by Robyn Clarke since Labor won government in 2017. She holds the seat on a 67.2 per cent two-party preferred vote following the 2021 election.