Mark McGowan has warned voters that Colin Barnett would privatise State assets and hand over the premiership to Troy Buswell before 2017 if the Liberals succeeded in Saturday’s election.
In a speech during a rally of the party faithful in Fremantle this morning, the Labor Leader also invoked the spirit of Kevin 07 by promising his cabinet would start work on Sunday if elected.
Mr McGowan entered the historic Victoria Hall “where John Curtin addressed working men and women at the height of the depression” with his young family to rapturous applause.
Half an hour later he left with his family and senior shadow ministers in a big red bus with his face and Labor’s campaign slogan “Better future, Better Priorities” emblazoned on the side, promising to campaign across the State for “every last vote”.
In a speech designed to lift the spirits of the true believers in the face of negative polls, Mr McGowan, 46, sought to contrast himself to 62-year-old Mr Barnett, who he said had run out of ideas and initiative.
“(My team) has done the hard yards required to prepare and cost the policies we have been announcing over the last weeks,” he said.
“Friends, it should be exhausting after all the work we have put in. But I’m not tired. I’m full of beans. I’m full of energy.”
“Friends, I’m ready. I’m ready for government and my team is ready for government.”
Emphasising his oft-repeated mantra of focusing on the priorities of suburban and regional families rather than “inner city monuments” and extolling the virtues of his Metronet rail plan, Mr McGowan ramped up the anti-Mr Buswell rhetoric.
In a speech which mentioned the Treasurer eight times, sections of the audience responded with hisses when Mr McGowan said: “Make no mistake. Troy Buswell will become premier if Mr Barnett wins next Saturday.”
Mr McGowan said Mr Buswell was being “groomed” to take over and Mr Barnett would not be honest about when he retired.
“The fact is, Mr Barnett will retire during the next term if he’s elected,” he said.
Mr McGowan said “privatisation is in the Liberals’ DNA”.
“Let me remind you all – Mr Barnett once said that he would not sell off Alinta Gas, and guess what, months later he did,” he said.
“Mr Barnett simply can’t be trusted. He uses weasel words and his successor – Troy Buswell – is the master of deceit and deception.”
Mr McGowan said Mr Barnett and Mr Buswell would “sell off Western Power, Water Corp and who knows how many hospitals” but he “would not sell off the family silver”.
“My first act as premier if elected to office will be to sign an executive order banning any privatisations or asset sales while I am premier,” he said.
Asked if Labor would gain momentum from today’s rally Mr Barnett said: “It’s pretty late to be holding a rally, I would have thought.”
“The election is going to be close. I guess during this week you’ll see a lot of advertising, a lot of leaflet drops, a lot of activity at the local campaign level and over the next few days a significant part of the West Australian community will make up their mind how they will vote.
“But the one thing that is certain when we all wake up on Sunday the 10th of March there will either be a Liberal government or a Labor government.”
Mr Barnett urged people to vote.
“Voting is compulsory and we should not take for granted our democratic right to have a say in who governs the State of Western Australia.“So, I think all people should accept their responsibilities and go out and vote and think about their vote -look at the policies of the major parties, look at the qualities of the candidates.”
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