North West Central – WA 2013

NAT 3.3%

Incumbent MP
Vince Catania, Member for North West since 2008. Previously Member for Mining and Pastoral in the Legislative Council 2005-2008. Catania was a member of the ALP until his defection to the Nationals in 2009.


Map of North West (Central)’s 2008 and 2013 boundaries. 2008 boundaries appear as red line, 2013 boundaries appear as white area. Click to enlarge.

North West Central covers northern parts of Western Australia, south of the Pilbara region. The largest town is Carnarvon, and the seat also covers Denham, Exmouth, Meekatharra, Paraburdoo and Tom Price.

The seat gained the shires of Sandstone and Wiluna from Kalgoorlie in the centre of Western Australia, changing the name of the seat from North West to North West Central. At the northern edge, the Shire of Roeburne was transferred to Pilbara in exchange for the remainder of Ashburton Shire. This changes the margin from 3.1% for the ALP to 3.3% for the non-Labor parties.

Seats in the north west of the state have changed names and boundaries and it is difficult to identify a single predecessor to North West Central.

The current seat was formed in 2005 as North West Coastal from parts of the abolished seats of Burrup and Ningaloo. Both seats had existed since 1996.

Burrup was held over those nine years by the ALP’s Fred Riebeling, and Ningaloo was held by Rod Sweetman for the Liberal Party.

In 2005, Riebeling ran for the ALP in North West Coastal while Sweetman was unsuccessful in finding a seat elsewhere for either the Liberal Party or Family First. Riebeling won the seat despite a small swing to the Liberal Party.

In 2008, Riebeling retired and the ALP ran Vince Catania, who had served one term in the Legislative Council. Sweetman returned to run for the Liberals. The seat was renamed to North West after more areas further from the coast were added to the seat.

Catania won with no swing against him, despite only polling 36% of the vote, and the combined vote for the Liberal and National candidates almost reaching 49%. The Liberal candidate came second, with the Nationals a close third.

Catania resigned from the ALP and joined the Nationals in 2009.


The National Party only managed 22% of the primary vote in 2008, but should benefit from Catania’s personal vote and other factors. The Nationals have been very effective over the last term and have focused on northern parts of the state in their efforts. It is likely that Catania will strengthen his hold on the seat.

2008 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Vince Catania ALP 4,161 36.2 -7.4
Rod Sweetman LIB 3,071 26.7 -10.4
Tom Day NAT 2,609 22.7 +22.7
Peter Shaw GRN 840 7.3 +2.4
Lex Fullarton IND 828 7.2 -3.0

2008 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Vince Catania ALP 6,103 53.1 +0.0
Rod Sweetman LIB 5,384 46.9 -0.0



Polling booths in North West Central at the 2008 WA state election. East in orange, West in blue, Carnarvon in green, North in yellow.

Booth breakdown
Booths have been divided into four areas. The three booths in the Carnarvon area have been grouped together. The remainder of the seat has been divided into north, east and west.

The ALP topped the poll in all four areas, with the Labor vote varying from 37.6% in the west to 32.7% in Carnarvon. The Liberal vote varied from 32.7% in the west to 23.7% in the north. The Nationals vote peaked at almost 30% in the north, compared to 14.9% in the west.

Voter group ALP % LIB % NAT % GRN % Total votes % of ordinary votes
North 32.96 23.69 29.66 8.32 2,512 44.73
Carnarvon 32.67 30.40 18.30 2.71 2,066 36.79
East 36.16 29.71 23.60 3.74 589 10.49
West 37.64 32.74 14.92 8.46 449 8.00
Other votes 33.26 32.13 19.91 8.11 2,823

Labor primary votes in North West Central at the 2008 WA state election.

Liberal primary votes in North West Central at the 2008 WA state election.

Nationals primary votes in North West Central at the 2008 WA state election.

About the Author

Ben Raue is the founder and author of the Tally Room. If you like this post, please consider donating to support the Tally Room.