West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has accused the Liberal party of “jumping the shark” after striking up an election deal with Clive Palmer.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan says the Liberals have lost their way after making an election deal with Clive Palmer, describing it as “pretty low and pretty disgraceful”.
While the state Labor leader had been all smiles while standing alongside Scott Morrison during his recent visit to Perth – during which the Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised their strong working relationship during the pandemic – it appeared the gloves were finally off on Friday.
“It is disgraceful … I mean doing a deal with Clive Palmer – seriously? Seriously?” Mr McGowan told reporters.
“The Liberal party has lost its way. If you’re going to do that, you’re really scraping – you’re really heading to the bottom.”
Mr McGowan said the Liberals “should not be engaging” with Mr Palmer.
“He’s the one who challenged WA’s border controls that saved countless lives and saved our economy,” the Premier said.
“He’s the one who took us to court for arbitration for $30bn … we had to pass special laws to stop it.
“This is a pretty low and a pretty disgraceful act to engage with Mr Palmer, and I would have expected better of them.”
The Premier noted the state Liberal Party had previously made a similar arrangement with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
“There’s got to be some standards. There’s got to be some things that you will not do,” he said.
“But clearly the Liberal Party has now jumped the shark and is prepared to do anything to hold on to office.
“I just hope people take account of that when they go to vote.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese is arriving in Perth on Friday having finished his Covid-19 isolation period.
Mr McGowan, who has also just finished isolating after contracting the virus, will be part of Labor’s election campaign launch this weekend in Perth.
“It’s very exciting that for the first time in the history of Australia a major political party is launching its election campaign in WA,” he said.
“That shows a deep commitment to our state and a recognition of WA’s role in supporting the rest of the nation.
“So I’m very pleased that federal Labor and Anthony Albanese have decided to do that.”
Labor is hoping to steal at least three marginal seats from the Liberals in WA, making the state central to the election.