Celia Hammond and Kate Chaney fight at Curtin

With its public rose gardens and beach-side mansions, the Curtin Electorate is one of WA’s wealthiest suburbs — and has been a safe seat for liberals for decades. But could the tide turn?

Celia Hammond and Kate Cheney (Image: media supplied/private)
Kate Chaney and Celia Hammond (Image: Media Supplied/Private)

“The big parties have ruined our society. We must never allow these human rights atrocities to happen again…” says Ladeisha Verhoeff, United Australia Party candidate for Curtin, the growing voice quivering with passion, her speech delivered into the microphone. like a wedding speech.

We’re at the Hollywood Subiaco Bowls Club, crisp square letters on the red brick building fading to gold on its way to the ceiling. The surrounding grounds are pristine, ocean blue sky parks and newly built homes. The participants are just as immaculate: white jackets, linen shirts, colored jeans. A lingering mid-Atlantic rhythm in the vocals. There would be few places in Australia less suited to this grand narrative, the vision of a dystopian Australia, devastated by power-hungry elites, forcing people to keep track of their vaccination status.

The forum is organized by Hollywood Learners – a freakishly charming local community group, meeting every third Friday for meetings dedicated to lifelong learning and civic good. The room is packed with a crowd of largely well-to-do retirees. The questions are polite and focused and the answers the same – and it’s shocking, the apparent catastrophic trampling on free speech.

Learn more about the changing political terrain in WA.

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