Federal candidate gets on his bike

THE Nationals’ candidate for O’Connor in the upcoming Federal election has taken to the streets on a postie bike to talk road funding with voters around the Great Southern.

John Hassell told The Voice of the South he bought his red 110CC Honda bike in Albany about two months ago for $900.

“It tonks along absolutely magnificently and it’s got a centrifugal clutch that means you don’t have to be on the hand clutch all the time,” he said.

He said five litres of unleaded was enough to last the diminutive two-wheeler all day.

John Hassell Nationals OConnor
John Hassell pops some voting advice in an Albany letter box. Photo: Chris Thomson

“It’s a great bit of gear, and I’ve really loved it, and what’s more I’ve really enjoyed stopping and talking to people in the street about the politics,” he added.

“I’ve got a new-found respect for posties.

“I saw a postie in the street one day and he just sort of waved and kept going.”

In the internet age, it is not the on-time performance of Australia Post that’s most on voter’s minds, says Mr Hassell.

“I pull up in the street and one of the real issues is they’re not happy with the fact there’s not a double-lane highway all the way from Albany to Perth, because of the safety issues, getting stuck behind a truck, and people wanting to duck past, creating dangerous situations,” he said.

“I think it’s a road of national significance.

“This is a problem that I do have with the Chester Pass Roundabout, the Albany ring-road and Albany Highway itself.”

Mr Hassell said those roads were nationally significant because of the quantity of produce transported along them.

“You think of the GDP that comes out of Albany, it’s huge in terms of woodchips and grains and they’re saying it’s not a road of national significance,” said the Pingelly farmer who is doing a Doctor of Business
Administration on the topic of farming co-operatives and why some of them fail.

“I think what they’re really saying is: ‘There’s not enough votes in you’.”

Mr Hassell is a great-great-grandson of his influential namesake who, from the 1830s, was a colonial era grazier at Kendenup, Kojonup and Jerramungup and later a merchant in Albany. 

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