Half-time report: lower house

With the Olympics out of the way and less than a fortnight to go until polling day, the Western Australian election campaign is on in earnest. The official Liberal campaign launch was held on Sunday – footage of Colin Barnett’s speech can be viewed here, but it doesn’t convey the highly Americanised razzamatazz that dominated the vision on the television news. The Liberals finally have their first television ads in business: this remarkably drab positive effort, and a rather more innovative negative one. There have also been two further additions to the party’s roster of radio advertising, both dealing with law and order, making for six negative ads out of six. Labor’s campaign has gotten equally grim after a sunny start.

On Monday night came the low-rating televised leaders debate, hosted by Channel Nine, in which 30 of the 50 audience members drove the worm and delivered a verdict of 17-13 in favour of Alan Carpenter. The worm tracked fairly evenly, favouring Barnett for the first half of the debate and Carpenter for the second. Carpenter got good responses on “left” issues including privatisation, GM food bans and uranium mining, and when he pointed out he had called on the Salaries Tribunal not to increase MPs’ pay. He also drew blood when criticising the Liberals’ lack of women candidates, and when saying they had done “nothing to prepare themselves for government”. However, he did best of all when responding to moderator Dixie Marshall’s silly question about the contenders’ greatest moral failings with a joke about the Fremantle Dockers, and proclaiming his love for Western Australia. Barnett did well invoking the shadow of Brian Burke and WA Inc, but Carpenter also succeeded in drawing Noel Crichton-Browne into the issue, and Barnett appeared to indulge in an impromptu strengthening of his position on banning cabinet members from dealing with him. Other good responses for Barnett related to housing, education and teachers’ pay, but the worm headed south when Troy Buswell was raised. Barnett did notably less well than Carpenter responding to Marshall’s concluding question.

Last week’s expectations management exercise by Labor has succeeded in talking down the Centrebet odds on a Liberal win from $4.25 to $3.50, but one news outlet that has loudly refused to play along is The West Australian. On Saturday, the paper reported that notwithstanding reports of five marginal seats showing a 7 per cent swing to the Liberals, “Labor insiders also said the polling indicated the swing would be reduced to a situation where Labor would be returned to government but would lose some seats”. The paper’s Robert Taylor had this to say:

With nothing apparently working, Labor got desperate towards the end of the week, claiming that its own polling showed the Liberals would win the election if it were held this weekend. That’s cynical. What Labor didn’t say was that although close, the polling still suggests the Government would be returned by a reduced majority and with two weeks to go, nightly tracking polls show the swing to the Liberals slowing not gathering pace.

The West sounds confident enough that we can probably infer Labor’s tracking poll paints a similar picture to last fortnight’s Westpoll and Newspoll, perhaps slightly worse than the latter.

UPDATE (28/8/08): Robert Taylor reports: “Nightly tracking polls conducted by both parties show the swing to the Liberals is down to around two per cent, half of what they need to claim government. The Liberals are tracking voters in eight marginal seats, Labor is polling in five But both see the same trend, and it’s a win to Labor … Labor sources said they expected losses to be contained to three or four seats, two of which, Darling Range and Bunbury, are held by Liberal incumbents anyway because of the one vote, one value redistribution. And Labor still has not given up on Albany and Geraldton, held by incumbent Government MPs Peter Watson and Shane Hill. Albany is said to have swung towards the Government in recent days. Both sides believe the Liberals have something of a stranglehold on Kingsley, held by Labor’s Judy Hughes. Ocean Reef, Collie-Preston and Riverton remain in play.

However, the momentum might yet continue to build: the big business “500 Club” has announced it will donate $400,000 to the party’s marginal seats campaign, bridging what was reportedly a massive gap between the parties’ war chests.

Now for an overview of the situation in those marginals, bearing in mind that a net loss of nine seats will cost Labor its majority and most likely produce a minority Liberal government. Let’s start with the seats ABC state political editor Peter Kennedy might have had in mind when he mused on last night’s television news: “Could it be that sitting Labor members have opted for the safer ends of their electorates and left the marginal seats for rookies?”.

Ocean Reef (Labor 1.6%): Labor’s members for Mindarie and Joondalup, John Quigley and Tony O’Gorman, would have done their party a very good turn if they had abandoned their existing seats in the crucial outer northern suburbs to tackle this less attractive new prospect. The seat has instead emerged as a contest between two newcomers, both aged 28: Labor’s Louise Durack, a social worker and organisational officer with the locally based Women’s Healthworks who was hand-picked by Alan Carpenter, and Liberal candidate Albert Jacob, a Joondalup councillor. Labor sources said they were “concerned” about the seat on the basis of marginal seat polling.

Mount Lawley (Labor 5.8%): Nearly two-thirds of the voters in this new seat come from abolished Yokine: perhaps Labor would have done well to keep its member Bob Kucera on board rather than dump him for preselection, leading him to quit the party and initially threaten to run as an independent (he has instead decided to retire). The seat will instead be contested for Labor by one of the highest-profile of Alan Carpenter’s hand-picked candidates, Karen Brown, former deputy editor of The West Australian and more recently director of former Labor MP John Halden’s lobbying firm Halden Burns. The Liberal candidate is Perth deputy lord mayor Michael Sutherland.

Jandakot (Labor 3.6%): The bulk of this new southern suburbs seat comes from the Liberal-held seats of Murdoch (which has been succeeded by Bateman, to be contested by Christian Porter) and Serpentine-Jarrahdale (whose Liberal member Tony Simpson will contest the radically redrawn Darling Range). Labor’s strength comes from smaller areas in the west of the electorate which have been acquired from the very safe seats of Cockburn and Willagee, both of which have maintained their identity. The member for the former is Energy Minister Fran Logan, who seems an unlikely vote-winner – he has been dubbed the “invisible man” of the campaign due to Labor’s unwillingness to bring him along to such events as yesterday’s wind power photo op in Albany. The member for the latter is Alan Carpenter. Should the Premier have boldly led by example, John Howard-style?

The following are must-wins for the Liberals in the metropolitan area:

Kingsley (Labor 0.0%): The northern suburbs seat of Kingsley was Labor’s only gain of the 2005 election, and had never been held by the party previously. It might be thought that Judy Hughes’s win for Labor was a one-off influenced by the fact that Liberal candidate Colin Edwardes was the husband of outgoing Liberal member Cheryl Edwardes, and also by the candidacy of Marie Evans (whose husband Richard Evans was member for the corresponding federal seat of Cowan from 1996 to 1998) under the “Community 1st” banner, reflecting local divisions in the Liberal Party. Hughes also suffered from the redistribution, which wiped out her 0.8 per cent margin by moving the electorate’s lowest-income suburb of Warwick into the safe Labor seat of Girrawheen. As part of last week’s campaign to dampen expectations, Labor claimed it had given up on the seat.

Riverton (Labor 2.1%): Labor member Tony McRae won the seat from Court government Workplace Relations Minister Graham Kierath in 2001 and survived an avalanche of bad press from The West Australian in the final days of the 2005 campaign, which memorably gave Colin Barnett’s costings debacle second billing to the news that Labor was running a dummy candidate. McRae suffered a more substantial setback during the current term when he was sacked as Environment Minister over dealings with Brian Burke’s lobbying colleague Julian Grill. The Liberal candidate is Mike Nahan, American-accented former executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs. Expect to hear a lot from Labor in the coming week about yesterday’s call from the IPA for privatisation of electricity generation and passenger rail networks. A Westpoll survey of 400 voters conducted during the first week of the campaign had the Liberals leading 51-49.

Swan Hills (Labor 3.6%): Labor’s outgoing 31-year-old member Jaye Radisich reportedly has ambitions for a future career in federal politics, but she might have lost a few friends in the party through her determination to abandon this crucial marginal seat in favour of its safe-as-houses neighbour West Swan. Alan Carpenter was determined that West Swan should go to his chief-of-staff Rita Saffioti, and Radisich quit rather than stay put. The seat will be contested for Labor by upper house MP Graham Giffard, who loomed as a potential loser in the game of musical chairs resulting from the reduction of North Metropolitan region from seven members to six. The Liberal candidate is Swan City councillor Frank Alban. Labor says its internal polling has it feeling “concerned” about the seat.

Now the must-win non-metropolitan seats:

Collie-Preston (Labor 0.9%): Collie-Preston merges Labor-held Collie-Wellington with Liberal-held Capel, and has thus emerged as a head-to-head contest between respective sitting members Mick Murray and Steve Thomas. As the map on my electorate page demonstrates, it is strikingly polarised between the intensively Labor-voting coal-mining town of Collie and the smaller town of Allanson to the west, and the strongly conservative agricultural shires of Capel, Dardanup and Donnybrook-Balingup. A former president of the Collie Combined Coalmining Unions Council, Mick Murray was Labor’s best performing candidate at the 2005 election, picking up a 6.7 per cent swing in Collie-Wellington after gaining its predecessor seat of Collie in 2001. Analysis of booth results reveals that this swing was overwhelmingly concentrated in Collie itself, whose five booths swung to Murray by 12.6 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent elsewhere. It can thus be inferred that the Labor margin is boosted by Murray’s popularity with a very particular constituency that has no representation in those areas that were formerly in Capel, where Steve Thomas can instead expect a sophomore surge following his entry to parliament in 2005.

North West (Labor 3.1%): Previously known as North West Coastal, this seat now extends inland to take in the mining towns of Meekatharra and Cue along with the Murchison pastoral area, cutting the margin from 3.7 per cent to 3.1 per cent. However, of more concern to Labor is the departure of sitting member Fred Riebeling, who has been demonstrating his vote-winning ways ever since he won the Ashburton by-election in the dying days of the Lawrence government in 1992. Worse still, the Liberal candidate is Rod Sweetman, who represented the area as member for Ningaloo from 1996 until 2005, when the abolition of his seat had him hunting unsuccessfully for opportunities in Perth. Labor’s candidate is Vince Catania, who has been a member for the corresponding upper house region of Mining and Pastoral since the 2005 election, at which time he was reckoned to be an inner-city blow-in.

The following have been sent from one side of the pendulum to the other by the redistribution:

Darling Range (Labor 0.8%): This seat derives just 15 per cent of its voters from the existing seat of Darling Range, the real successor to which is Kalamunda, which will be contested by Darling Range MP John Day (it has a notional Liberal margin of 0.2 per cent, but the early campaign Westpoll gave John Day a 54-46 lead). The new Darling Range takes half its voters from abolished Serpentine-Jarrahdale, and will accordingly be contested for the Liberals by its sitting member Tony Simpson. Labor’s candidate is Lisa Griffiths, described by the local Comment News as “the only woman in a group of six scientists in WA specialising in electron microscopy”.

Bunbury (Labor 0.9%): It was long anticipated that Bunbury mayor John Castrilli would gain this seat for the Liberals at the 2005 election, but he ended up winning by just 103 votes. Being slightly bigger than the other main regional cities, not all of Bunbury was accommodated by the electorate under the old boundaries, the Labor-voting southern suburbs of Withers and Usher being in abolished Capel. The absorption of those areas has given Labor a 1.5 per cent boost, but the Liberals are reportedly very confident Castrilli should be able to make up the difference. Labor has nominated Peter MacFarlane, director of the Margaret River Regional Wine Centre and candidate for Forrest at last year’s federal election.

Albany (Liberal 2.3%): The other two regional city seats have gone the other way from Bunbury because they have had to make up the numbers from surrounding rural seats. In both cases this meant territory where Labor had played dead to finish behind the Nationals, ensuring they defeated the Liberals on their preferences. Labor thus has a better chance of retaining the seats than the notional margins suggest, as indicated by Alan Carpenter’s visit yesterday to spruik renewable energy (which was reported thus on the front page of today’s West Australian). For their part, the Liberals are promising to build a natural gas pipeline between Bunbury and Albany under a public-private partnership. Labor’s sitting member Peter Watson faces sports physiotherapist Andrew Partington for a second successive election.

Geraldton (Liberal 3.5%): A similar story to Albany, Geraldton was won by Labor’s Shane Hill in 2001 and has moved to the Liberal column after expanding into rural territory from the abolished Nationals seat of Greenough. The Liberal candidate is local farmer Ian Blayney.


Joondalup (Labor 3.6%): Changes of government in 1983, 1993 and 2001 all involved mass transfers of seats in Perth’s volatile northern suburbs mortgage belt, with Tony O’Gorman gaining Joondalup for Labor on the latter occasion. The Liberals would surely be hoping to gain this seat if they wish for a repeat in 2008, but their candidate Milly Zuvela has a remarkably low profile, notwithstanding a stint on Wanneroo City Council late last decade.

Forrestfield (Labor 4.5%): A new seat with no sitting member, so the margin might flatter Labor, who have nominated Andrew Waddell, a former official with the Centre faction Transport Workers Union who has worked since 1999 with the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Here too the Liberals have nominated a candidate without much of a profile, school deputy principal Nathan Morton.

Southern River (Labor 5.1%): This electorate has been substantially redrawn, the existing seat providing it with only 56 per cent of its voters (the rest come from abolished Serpentine-Jarrahdale), so perhaps sitting member Paul Andrews is not as secure as his margin makes him appear. The Liberal candidate is the Reverend Peter Abetz, pastor of the Christian Reformed Church of Willetton and brother of Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz.

Kimberley (Labor 6.3%): I was tempted to put the 5.2 per cent Liberal swing at the 2005 election down to the one-off of Colin Barnett’s canal proposal exciting local hopes of job creation (it was first won for the Liberals in the late sixties due to the local popularity of the Ord River scheme boondoggle). However, a reader has suggested the snap election announcement has left Aboriginal voters in newly acquired Halls Creek and surrounding communities off the rolls, making the seat potentially of interest.

Kalgoorlie (Liberal 7.2%): A very rough roughie maybe, but worth a mention due to the departure of Matt Birney who won the seat for the Liberals for the first time in 2001 and picked up a 7.5 per cent swing against the trend of the 2005 election. The Liberals have nominated 27-year-old pastoralist Nat James, said to have been a surprise preselection winner over Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce president Guy Brownlee; Labor’s Mathew Cuomo has rather more of a profile as a local lawyer. The race is further complicated by the entry of John Bowler, the Labor-turned-independent member for abolished Murchison-Eyre who remains popular locally despite being sacked as a cabinet minister in 2007 over dealings with Brian Burke and Julian Grill (the latter of whom preceded him as member for Murchison-Eyre). Local observers also aren’t writing off Nationals candidate Tony Crook.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

265 thoughts on “Half-time report: lower house”

  1. I’m in Darling Range (ex Swan Hills) and have been subjected to a fairly intensive mail campaign by Tony Simpson. Barely a day goes by without something rather glossy turning up in an envelope.

    Lisa Griffiths’ campaign has been a bit less constant, with maybe half the number of mailshots and less expensively printed material. However, there has been a doorknocker round (1st weekend of the campaign) with LG’s small daughter in tow (which I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with).

    I’m really not sure if Darling Range will fall to the Libs. The population centres it now contains have high middle-class hippie and progressive professional demographics, neither of which will be keen on recent Lib shenanigans. I can see Lisa Griffiths’ prior career outside politics and in the sciences being a significant plus too. Unless she was involved in doing unspeakable things to fluffy bunnies in the name of research of course.

    I must say, being in a marginal State seat makes elections are much more exciting than being in a safe Federal one.

  2. I’m in Darling Range (ex Swan Hills) and have been subjected to a fairly intensive mail campaign by Tony Simpson. Barely a day goes by without something rather glossy turning up in an envelope.

    And technically Graham Giffard lives in that electorate, his street is right on the boundary.

    I think Middle Swan is missing out on the Swan Hills stuff with Ellenbrook pretty much getting all the attention – Frank Alban is at a distinct disadvantage because as a City of Swan councillor, he advocated an “Ellenbrook Levy” because he believed the City of Swan shouldn’t be paying for the Parks and Gardens.

  3. My Ning from The Worst Of Perth 🙂

    I bet ol’ canal Colin’s a wee bit pissed with The West. Afterall, there he was, about to retire from a party in complete shambles, when the paper cooks up a weekend poll story (a survey which it conducted itself, no less) saying the Libs had a fighting chance.

    So what happens? One time loser Barnett triumphantly returns, only to have the rag turn on him (yes, I’m referring to Murray’s thing this morning).

    Just think – he could have taken the money and run to a nicely paid teaching job but has, instead, decided to let himself be beaten by an ineffectual sour pus, all because the worst paper in Australia told him to do so.

    In short, on the Worst’s recommendation, he will now be remembered as a two time loser. What will make his legacy all the more embarrising is the fact he failed to beat a slovenly government that sometime looks as if it’s stuck in an intellectual vacuum.

    What a plonker!

    Still, we will be better off without Colin and those conservative “I’ll do what my parents want me to do” dickheads that make up the current WA opposition. Apart from the fact he has an uglier set of fangs than Eric Ripper (now that sez something), he now expects WA dope smokers to look to the east to get their their bongs and pipes? Is that progess? Will this retail supression help fix the health crisis. I thought the clown wanted to liberate the shopping sector, not supress it.

    Furthermore, while we all might like to believe this ALP government is arrogant, the electorate should think back on what it had during the Coalition rule of the 1990s.

    Anyone remember Graham Kierath? Absolutely hideous person (you could almost smell his bad breath when you saw him on TV). And what about Monty House? Richard Court? My God, how we don’t miss them. Eric Charlton? Affable guy perhaps, but really, a minister of the crown? Hendy Cowan? Now there was a top class wanker. As was Kevin Prince…the list goes on.

    Of course these guys are no longer around, but there’s nothing about the rabble in opposition at the moment to suggest that it will operate any differently than during the days when the school prefects ran the show.

    But back to Barnett for the moment. The fact he let the Worst hijack his political retirement plans shows that he’s not good at taking advice – either that or he simply takes bad advice from the wrong people.

    This is the reason why: (1) we should never vote for him, and (2) he will never be offered a position on a major company’s board, despite the fact he has been a resources minister and he knows all of the market rhetoric.

    For once I hope Murray is right…..


  4. Oh you lucky things to live in a marginal seat. I live in Maylands (safe ALP), and have received one leaflet from the ALP and that’s it.

    No door knocks, no flyers, no posters in the streets and I could not tell you the names of the Lib and minor party candidates. I can only assume the parties are concentrating their efforts on the marginals.

    it is depressing to know that my vote will have little effect, and that the election will be decided by a very small number of swing voters in a handful of marginals. The government will be chosen by the Kaths and Kims of Joondalup and Jandakot; the aspirational sandpit dwellers who want to be effluent.

  5. Today’s Mail Call.

    3 items from Graham Giffard.

    Rebate Guide

    Achievements in Swan Hills Map

    Personal letter addressed to me on Education.

    plus voting guide from the WAEC.

    besides yesterday’s Brian Burke flyer from the libs – the Liberal Candidate has been strangely quiet 🙂

  6. I’m in Floreat and I’ve had nothing from anyone.

    When I lived in Melbourne I was lucky enough to be in Bracksy’s seat of Williamstown the year he knocked Jeffrey off the perch so unexpectedly.

    It’s that campaign when Kennett ran on a platform of just shutting up and hoping the ‘Joan Jet Kirner’ Labor years would drag them over the line – keeping the ALP firmly bogged down in the mire – that has me so worried.

    Kennett was still very much near the top of his game, but his ‘arrogance’ caused the boilover.

    Fyi, Shane Maloney’s Murray Whelan series captures this era beautifully for anyone interested in Victorian poilitics.

  7. I wonder if Colin banning the Bong and growing dope for personal use has frightened those people who consider themselves small l Liberal, but who smoke the odd joint or two jumping ship and voting Labor ? Especially those who smoke it to relieve pain from MS and Cancer.

  8. The Citizen’s Electoral Council hit letterboxes in Subiaco (and possibly surrounding areas) with a dvd, a paper-style newsletter, a brochure and some other piece of paper on Monday. “World’s leading economist Lyndon LaRouche says…” etc. Anyone else on the leafy/ier side of town seen this?

  9. Of course this election is not over yet but in light of some journalists’ comments mentioned above I will put on record again what I said on the earlier Westpoll and Newspoll thread where the Libs were very close to Labor.
    “17 Gary Bruce Says: August 16th, 2008 at 9:38 am
    I think the Newspoll is significant but I also believe (and I could be wrong) that this is the Liberal’s high tide in the polls. When push comes to shove people don’t elect rabble to government unless the government is rabble itself which I understand isn’t the case here.”
    I still believe this will be the case.

  10. Second thing through the mailbox for me, in Belmont… from the WAEC, with a map outlining the electorate boundaries and listing the polling booths (but unhelpfully not marking them on the map, like the website does).

    Skink: +1 on the safe seat boringness. I don’t know who the other candidates here are either… it’s Eric the Ripper and, um, yeah.

  11. I was doing pre-poll HTV handouts at the Joondalup AEC office this morning (people from the seats of Mindarie, Ocean Reef, Joondalup and Wanneroo mostly)

    The Lib guy rocked up at 10 am (1hr after opening), with some paper, a placard or two leaning against the wall, with some sandy rocks holding down his HTV cards. I actually felt sorry for the guy cos it was clear they were so unprepared.

    Meanwhile, Labor had a nice umbrella, nicely organized HTV cards in pretty boxes with lots of big posters.

  12. I live in a marginal too Forrestfield. Very different to living in a safe seat.

    Have had lots of mail from the ALP candidate Andrew Waddell. And have been door knocked. Nice to actually meet the candidate. The ALP also have this big truck driving around advertising the ALP candidate which I have seem quite a bit.

    Only had two things from the Liberal candidate. One a while ago and then the postal vote thing. Not heard of him door knocking either.

  13. I get the feeling that most of the Lib candidates are resting their chances on “Come-back Col” rather than spend too much money on campaign material.

    All the material i’ve seen so-far hasnt had any solid commitments or policies, just attacking Labor (Burke, arrogance,etc, etc). Pretty shallow and boring stuff so-far.

  14. I’d point out that the 500 Club this week donated $400,000 (count those zeroes) to the Liberal marginal seats campaign. I’d be fascinated to hear from marginal seat residents about the quantity and content of what they receive in the coming week.

  15. I did see the story about the 500 Club donation on the ABC news on Tuesday night

    there was excellent footage of the local spokesman announcing the donation and the Club’s undying support for Barnett whilst a waiter in a tux cleared away the silverware from their three course lunch.

    Barnett announced his planned tax cuts at the lunch, which were primarily to payroll tax and developers’ fees, so the Club’s members are bound to recoup any donation they make to the Libs if they get in.

  16. #70 WB…. thats a good point.

    From what i’ve seen so far its seems to have been done in house on colour printers (ie @ a Federal Liberal MP/Senators office)…… I bet we’ll see a push with some nice glossy’s next week in the seats they think they can win.

  17. Charles @ 104 in the previous thread.

    Great link.

    Good to see that shareholders sometimes revolt for all the right reasons.
    When the libnat shareholders also revolted on the same issue in the last fed election, the Lavoisier Group had an impact, but not the one they were gunning for.

    Now, over to Rudd & Co, to see what they will do.

  18. Looks to me like truthabouttroy.com may have been taken down.

    As I said yesterday, it seems that Troy website was prepared for an election with Troy as leader, and it seems that once Barnett was elected, they forgot to take it offline.

  19. Hi William,

    Is there no interest in the battles between sitting Lib & Nat members for Blackwood-Stirling and Moore?

    If the Nats lose, they may also lose party status in the Parliament and begin the slide into electoral oblivion.

  20. I note that the conservatives are outraged over the Troy buswell site. But don’t I recall the libs doing the same for both Mark Latham and Kevin Rudd as well ?

    Talk about Pots and Kettles.

  21. TruthaboutTroy has been given a run by PerthNow and WAToday, but you heard it here first, folks.

    Joe Spagnolo, Chris Thomson – I know you read this – you owe me a beer

  22. TruthaboutTroy has been given a run by PerthNow and WAToday, but you heard it here first, folks.

    Joe Spagnolo, Chris Thomson – I know you read this – you owe me a beer

    And not a word from The West either – have they got Net Nanny installed ? 🙂

  23. 77 Luke: I’m sorta interested. Blackwood-Stirling is more likely to go to the Nats due to Paul Omodei taking his bat and ball and going home, Moore… I’m not sure. It’s gonna be one of those seats where ALP prefs decide it… I had a bit of a google, but can’t find their HTV cards. (I’m guessing the Nats.) They’ll keep Central Wheatbelt and Wagin, so that’s three or four seats they’ll get.

    By the way, one thing I found on the ALP site was the TV ads they’re running on GWN and WIN. Nice chirpy looking ads about what the govt’s been doing for Albany / Bunbury / etc, as opposed to the DOOOMM ads about Colin Barnett they’ve been running on Perth TV.

  24. Barnett to redefine Election Campaign.

    The Opposition Leader Colin Barnett has sought to redefine the election campaign, saying it is all about truth.

    Mr Barnett says the truth has been the one casualty of the campaign so far.

    He says the Government has been less than forthright about the gas explosion on Varanus Island, on the looming Corruption and Crime Commission reports, and on the Japanese company Inpex choosing the Northern Territory over WA for a multi-billion dollar gas project.

    Mr Barnett has also raised questions about Brian Burke’s support for Alan Carpenter to become the Premier.

    He has appealed to Western Australians to stand up for the truth.

    “So when you go into the polling booth on September the 6th, think about the truth,” he said.

    “Decide who is telling the truth, Alan Carpenter or Colin Barnett.”


  25. 90 That was a rambling interview Frank. I fail to see what harm there is in using material that is out there on the public record. It’s not as Labor they were making claims based on thin air.

  26. 90 That was a rambling interview Frank. I fail to see what harm there is in using material that is out there on the public record. It’s not as Labor they were making claims based on thin air.

    Exactly, I can rememvber quite a few Liberal “Dirt” websites at the last federal election.

    and as for Russell Woolfe, it confirms my suspicions, he’s a Liberal Stooge. CAn you imagine how he would respond if the Libs did a similar website ?

  27. In relation to the big business $400k bump to the Lib war chest

    The WA Union movement has dug a bit deeper aswell. Not to the tune of $400k, but it means the following ad will now run on all comercial channels during evening prime time viewing, every eveneing right up until the black out.
    Originally it was planned to run less often and on less channels.
    After the launch of the advertisment, Colin Barnet and David Robinson from UnionsWA had a to-and-fro on radio. It is clear that the Libs don’t want the IR word mentioned.
    Will the Ads raise this issue to some prevalence?


    SIMON BEAUMONT: True to his word Colin Barnett has given us some time in the studio this week. Dave Robinson has called in, he’s the secretary of Unions WA…[greetings not transcribed]

    DAVE ROBINSON: “Colin, look I heard you talk about the policy, raft of policies you’ve got but there’s a huge omission, Colin. People spend a huge amount of time at work and policy in relation to workplace rights is fundamental to them and their families. Why are you, Colin, keeping WA voters in the dark about your industrial relations policy and why don’t you even have a shadow spokesperson on industrial relations?

    COLIN BARNETT: “Well, Dave, one of the reasons, as you well know, is that industrial relations has essentially become federal now. Now there are issues obviously…

    DAVE ROBINSON:”[inaudible]

    COLIN BARNETT: “…no, with public sector employees, I agree.

    DAVE ROBINSON: “Absolutely, and we’ve got a raft of small business as well.

    COLIN BARNETT: “Yep, issues for non incorporated businesses, there are. Dave, what… we’re… we’re not going to be saying a lot about industrial relations in this election campaign, it is primarily lead Federally now and it flows on into public sector and the small sector… small business area.

    But what we will be saying something about, and what I hope you will support us on, we’ll be saying something about restoring the integrity and the professionalism and the independence of West Australia’s public service. And, Dave, I’ll be counting on your support as a… as a prominent [inaudible] sector [inaudible] leader because it’s going to be in your members’ interest, Dave, that we fix up the public service.

    DAVE ROBINSON: “Yes, but what is fundamental to people is to know what is going to happen to them in their workplaces in WA where you’ve got control over WA which you still have, unless you intend to cede all of your powers to the Commonwealth, is that what you’re intending to do?

    COLIN BARNETT: “Ah, no, Dave, I won’t be doing that. Dave, look you shouldn’t be doing Labor Party calls to me.

    DAVE ROBINSON: “I‘m not, no.

    SIMON BEAUMONT: “Dave, are you a member of the Labor Party, Dave?

    DAVE ROBINSON: “Of course I am, but…

    COLIN BARNETT: “Yeah, well…

    DAVE ROBINSON: “…this is about the workers.

    COLIN BARNETT: “Okay, Dave. Dave, look at my record, my… Colin Barnett’s record in education..

    DAVE ROBINSON: “That’s… that’s exactly what we do and we remember individual contracts and privatisation and [inaudible].

    COLIN BARNETT: “Dave… Dave… Dave, you… look at my record in education, in improving the conditions and the housing and the salaries of teachers across this state. Look at the speeches I’ve made, one after the other in Parliament over the last 18 years about the importance of an independent professional public service in this state, that is what with respect, you should be advocating for your members. And that is what, if I’m premier, Dave, and I’ll… I’ll look forward to working with you ‘cause I like you, I’ve always got on reasonably well with you except for on the radio, but we get on okay, and I will work with you and I seek your advice and cooperation in restoring the independence, the professionalism and the standing of the West Australian public service.

    DAVE ROBINSON: “That’s… that’s the public sector, what about everyone else?

    COLIN BARNETT: “And… and that’s what… that’s what I’ll be doing, Dave.

    SIMON BEAUMONT: “Better… better move on. Dave, thank you for calling and thank you for listening to the program as you always do.

  28. The WA Union movement has dug a bit deeper aswell. Not to the tune of $400k, but it means the following ad will now run on all comercial channels during evening prime time viewing, every evening right up until the black out.

    But note a couple of notable absentees, the WA State School Teachers Union, and the Construction division of the CFMEU – it seems Heavie Kevie isn’t happy Carps forced him and Shells out, and the Teachers aren’t happy because of the Pay Deal.

  29. You have to laugh at Barnetts comments re the Buswell website.

    But Liberal leader Colin Barnett, who had also not seen the website, and “would not look at it”, said it showed a “lack of character and a lack of decency” in the Labor Party.

    “It is dirty politics.I have seen some dirty tactics in the Labor campaigning but nothing like this,” Mr Barnett said

    “We are talking about a man with young children here.”


    Well why didn’t Troy think of that before he did what he did ?

  30. Frank, do they have a Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations over there and if they do what does he get paid for if he doesn’t produce IR policy?

  31. Do you see the CFMEU not chipping in as profile damage or boost for ALP Frank?

    a boost because ever since Shelley Srcher decided to take her bat and ball home, there hasn’t been a peep from Kevin or Joe, mind you, they’re both worrying about their own political future atm 🙂

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