Sunday, September 04, 2011


The following media statement was issued on Friday September 2, 2011

Bernie Masters, the former Liberal turned independent MP for Vasse, has issued a challenge to the Liberal Party of WA and to Troy Buswell, the Liberal candidate who beat him at the 2005 election.

Mr Masters has called upon the Liberal Party to preselect a candidate for Vasse who is prepared to live in the Vasse electorate and effectively represent Vasse electors in Parliament and to the elected government.

He has also called upon Mr Buswell to consider whether it is in the best interests of the Liberal Party and of Mr Buswell himself to continue to seek reelection for a seat that he effectively abandoned in 2007 to live in Perth.

"I have serious concerns about the quality of representation that Mr Buswell gives to his electors," Mr Masters said.

"On his occasional visits to the Vasse electorate, Mr Buswell takes great care to be seen at sporting and cultural events so that his photo can then appear in the local newspapers," he said.

"However, this fly in-fly out representation is a poor substitute when compared with actually being part of the community you're elected to represent."

"I also have concerns about Mr Buswell's ability to provide leadership and serve as an example to his electors, based upon the many 'incidents' that have afflicted his time as an elected representative of the people."

"To be quite blunt, I believe that Mr Buswell lacks a moral compass and has great trouble deciding between what is moral and ethical in many of the decisions that a member of Parliament needs to make on a regular basis."

"If the Liberal Party endorses Mr Buswell to be its candidate at the next state election due in March 2013, I will stand against him as an Independent Liberal."

"And my election campaign will start the day after he's officially endorsed."

Mr Masters was elected as the Liberal member for Vasse in 1996, reelected in 2001 and then lost to Mr Buswell in 2005 by just 209 votes.

Having lost Liberal Party endorsement for the seat of Vasse in late 2003, he resigned from the Party in early 2004 and remained in Parliament as an independent.

Since 1982, Mr Masters has lived at Peppermint Grove Beach, just a few kilometres outside the current boundaries of the Vasse electorate but well within the electorate until a redistribution occurred prior to the 2005 election.

He is actively involved in many community groups within the Busselton Shire and served as a Shire councillor between 2008 and 2009.

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