Labor’s apathy for the regions transcends state borders
Disdain for regional Western Australia is not a Labor trait exclusive to the McGowan Government, with Federal Leader Bill Shorten also thumbing his nose at the bush during a visit west this week.
Mr Shorten’s six-day trip to WA included just one jaunt outside of Perth – a flying visit to Kalgoorlie where the Opposition Leader failed to detail a single cent of funding for the Goldfields or broader regional WA.
The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said Mr Shorten’s ongoing refusal to outline a fix to the GST system spoke volumes of his contempt for Western Australia.
“But it appears Mr Shorten harbours a deeper level of resentment towards regional WA,” Ms Davies said.
“So far Mr Shorten has committed more than $170 million for road upgrades in Perth’s northern suburbs, more than $700 million for Mark McGowan’s Metronet and $154 million for Joondalup Health Campus.
“For the 25 per cent of WA’s population who live outside of Perth, Mr Shorten and Labor have promised nothing. There has been $0 committed for regional projects or programs.”
Ms Davies said Mr Shorten’s Fair Share for WA Fund was simply an “infrastructure bribe” aimed at winning Perth seats at the next Federal election.
“What we have learnt this week is that under a Shorten Labor Government regional WA can expect to be ignored, something that has become a hallmark of the McGowan Labor Government,” she said.
Deputy Leader Jacqui Boydell said Mr Shorten’s trip to Kalgoorlie was nothing more than lip service.
“It appears Mr Shorten was reluctantly forced onto a jet by his office in a lame attempt to make it look like the Opposition Leader’s trip to the west was not just a Perth procession,” she said.
“You would think if the Federal Opposition Leader was coming to town he would bring an announcement for the region.
“Mr Shorten did, however, take the chance to attack the cashless welfare card currently being trialled in the Goldfields – with the support of many in the community – after a successful roll-out in the East Kimberley.
“Clearly Mr Shorten didn’t read his talking points because there’s nothing West Australians hate more than Canberra politicians riding in on their high horse, shoving their finger in our faces and telling us how we can do better.”