Labor’s Melissa Horne is in the box seat to replace Wade Noonan in the seat of Williamstown at the next elction.
The woman most likely to be Williamstown’s next Labor MP says she has politics in her blood.
Melissa Horne, 49, grew up in the Hunter Valley with her sister and their school teacher parents.
“My sister and I grew up in a very politically active family,” she said.
“Mum and dad were public high school teachers who were fervent members of the union, and so we grew up discussing education policy and politics at the kitchen table.
“When I was a teenager, dad (former Paterson MP Bob Horne) made the leap from being a teacher into being a federal member …so, it’s sort of in the blood.”
Ms Horne’s career has taken her from the ALP’s national office to her current role as stakeholder relations director with the Level Crossing Removal Authority.
She and partner Alex Lovelock moved from Canberra to Yarraville in 2002, before buying in Seddon 14 years ago. “Shack de Bodgy has been a labour of love,” she says of their renovated home where they live with their boys, Sacha, 9, and Phoenix, 12.
About seven years ago, Ms Horne became involved with the SKY High Working Group, lobbying the state government to establish a state secondary school to service families in Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville.
“We were successful in being able to gain a commitment out of what was then the Andrews opposition, which … has since eventuated into a $25million commitment for the Footscray Learning Precinct,” she said.
The removal of the crossing at North Williamstown station in Ferguson Street will be one of the most contentious issues for the new Williamstown MP.
“Personally, I think that there needs to be a solution that deals with traffic management first and foremost,” Ms Horne said.
“That roundabout is a nightmare. You’ve got a school really close.
“There needs to be provision to stop any rat-running down past that school.”
Another contentious issue is the West Gate Tunnel Project, which has split her electorate.
Hobsons Bay council last week officially opposed the “Maribyrnong bypass” and vowed to lobby the state government ahead of next year’s election.