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July 27, 2021

Randall death sets up Canning by-election

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don randallLiberal MPs are mourning the death of their colleague Don Randall, but the party will have to find a replacement to run in a by-election for his seat.

Mr Randall’s death leaves a vacancy in the West Australian seat of Canning, to be filled by a by-election at a time determined by the Speaker.

The 62-year-old died after being found unresponsive in his car near Boddington Golf Club in WA’s south just before 3pm on Tuesday.

It is understood he died of a heart attack.
Mr Randall has been hailed as a passionate champion for his state and a friend to many on both sides of politics.

He was one of two MPs behind the failed spill motion against Prime Minister Tony Abbott in February, saying at the time his electorate was concerned about the leader.

The prime minister paid tribute on Tuesday to an “outstanding” local member who was a passionate and persuasive advocate in Canberra.

‘He was a mentor to many and integral to the success of our party in the state of Western Australia,’ Mr Abbott said in a statement.

Fellow Western Australian, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, praised Mr Randall’s dedication to promoting the interests of their state.

‘Don had a giant personality and approached each day with great enthusiasm,’ she said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Randall was liked on both sides of the parliament and was counted as a friend by many within the Labor Party.

‘He was a thoroughly good and decent bloke,’ he said in a statement.

Mr Randall served as the member for Canning since 2001 and was re-elected to the marginal seat four times.

From 1996 to 1998, he held the seat of Swan.

He occasionally made headlines for controversial comments, including calling public broadcaster ABC “Gay BC” and accusing the mining industry of being “pussy-whipped” by then prime minister Julia Gillard.

Mr Randall also came under scrutiny in 2013 for a $5200 taxpayer-funded trip to Cairns with his wife, shortly before buying an investment property in the region.

The MP paid back the money but insisted he had acted within the rules.

Federal ministers took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to express their grief, with Treasurer Joe Hockey saying he was “shocked and devastated” to hear the news.

Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Warren Truss hailed Mr Randall as a “great champion” of his electorate and WA.

Between 2007 and 2010, Mr Randall held shadow parliamentary secretary roles to the opposition leader and in energy, roads and local government.

He served on several committees including the legal and constitutional affairs and privileges committee.

Before his election to the House of Representatives, Mr Randall was a teacher, horse trainer and local councillor.

He is survived by his wife Julie and two children.

A by-election must be held on a Saturday and is usually declared as early as possible so electors are not left without representation.

Mr Randall held Canning with a margin of 12 per cent on a two party preferred basis.

Parliament resumes on August 10 after a winter break.

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