The Western Australian Premier, Richard Court, has called a state election for February 10.
Court’s Liberal government has been in office since 1993. It faces a difficult fight for re-election against the Labor opposition led by Geoff Gallop.
This is the text of a press release from the Premier.
A State election will be held in Western Australia on Saturday, February 10, Premier Richard Court announced today.
In Bunbury to release the Coalition’s Bunbury-Leschenault Policy, Mr Court said Western Australians would head to the polling booths to decide which party would govern the State for the next four years.
“This will be a critical election for Western Australians,” he said.
“There will be a choice between the Coalition, which will continue to deliver strong economic growth, responsible financial management, more jobs and well-funded social initiatives that the community deserves.
“Or people can take a risk with the Labor Party which clearly is still not ready to govern Western Australia, having not reformed itself from its troubled history and still with the fingerprints of union heavyweights all over it.
“Under the Coalition, Western Australia is growing from strength to strength – this is the Liberal Party’s campaign slogan and we will be showing the people of this State that now is not the time to risk the Labor Party.”
Mr Court signalled that the Labor Party’s plans to silence the voice of regional Western Australia would be a key election issue.
“The Labor Party wants to tear the heart out of our regions by reducing the country voice in Parliament by a massive 16 seats, and then transfer those seats to the city,” he said.
“During the election campaign, Geoff Gallop should come clean with country voters and tell them which of their 16 seats he will abolish under his plan.
“Make no mistake – a vote for Labor in regional Western Australia is a vote to reduce the voice of the country to a whisper in our Parliament.”
On a State-wide level, Mr Court said the Coalition would be reinforcing that Western Australians could only have their expectations met if the Government of the day demonstrated a vision that delivers strong economic growth combined with responsible financial management.
“Clearly, the community’s priorities are law and order, education and health, and the Coalition has built strong foundations in these areas after 10 years of Labor neglect,” he said.
“Under the Coalition, there has been exceptional funding growth with spending on health increasing 48 per cent, education by 61 per cent and law and order by 54 per cent.
“At the same time, almost 190,000 new jobs have been created and unemployment levels have more than halved, we’ve restored the State’s AAA credit rating, and Western Australia has its lowest levels of net debt in more than a decade.”
Mr Court said the Coalition’s election promises would be realistic, achievable and fully costed.
He said under the Financial Responsibility Act introduced by the State Government, Treasury would release a pre-election financial projections statement which would include full costings of all Government decisions taken to the time of calling of the election.
Mr Court also encouraged all Western Australians who were eligible to vote in the State election to ensure they were properly enrolled.
“There is no doubt this will be a close election and every vote will count. All Western Australians who are eligible to have a say in the future of their State should ensure they are able to do so by having their enrolment details up to date,” he said.