City of Rockingham councillor Rae Cottam will contest the upcoming Rockingham by-election for the Legalise Cannabis Party. Cr Cottam, a Wongutha woman who has been a councillor for almost four years, has thrown her hat into the ring to contest former Premier Mark McGowan’s long-held and very safe Labor State seat. “I am a voice to the community and those who are unheard, I am a good listener and a representative for people,” Cr Cottam said this week. Ms Cottam said 78 percent of people in the community want to see the decriminalisation of cannabis and that she is “one of them”. “I believe that medical cannabis and CBD oil should be covered by the (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme),” she said. “Out-of-pocket costs can be really crippling to those already suffering, to be able to afford (what is) a natural alternative therapy that they’re finding relief in and giving people quality of life. “People that I have worked with or that I have talked to believe that money and time spent from the criminal justice system could be used to focus on more important things. “People are happy to see change.” As a young Indigenous woman, former teacher and local advocate, Ms Cottam said that she hoped to bring about change and a new perspective to issues within the community. Cr Cottam joins former Rockingham deputy mayor Hayley Edwards, the Liberal Party’s pick Peters Hudson and Labor’s Magenta Marshall, who is the overwhelming favourite, in the battle to replace Mr McGowan as the Rockingham MP. The by-election vote will be held on Saturday, July 29. “I am really excited for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting the other candidates,” Cr Cottam said.