Colin Barnett has refused to guarantee the WA Greens discretionary resourcing after their disappointing election result, prompting party elder Giz Watson to appeal for generosity.
The Greens became entitled to a full-time staffer when the May 2009 election of Adele Carles in Fremantle boosted their numbers to five MPs, affording them official minor party status.
Ms Carles quit the Greens a year later but despite the party losing a $65,000-a-year allocation from the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal for non-governing minor parties, Mr Barnett elected not to take their research officer away.
But with the election set to cut the Greens' numbers by half, the Premier said all bets were off.
"With the new term of Government, the resources of any party that does not meet the requirements of a minor party will be subject to negotiation once the new Legislative Council is sworn-in in May," Mr Barnett said.
The WA Electoral Commission is today scheduled to reveal the final results in up to all six Upper House regions.
Ms Watson is considered to have only a remote chance of successfully switching from the North Metropolitan seat she held for 16 years to the South West. East Metropolitan MLC Alison Xamon also appears set to lose her seat.
Ms Watson, who would not speculate on her future after May, said the Greens would ask Mr Barnett for a staffer "to assist the orderly passage of legislation".
"Losing that staff member would certainly reduce our effectiveness in the Parliament and would be a significant blow because, having been in the Parliament (before) with two members - which is kind of what it's looking like - it's a lot of work for those members," she said.
Mr Barnett reviewed staffing allocations in September 2010 and decided to boost the resourcing of non-governing parties with five or more members from one to four full-time equivalent staffers.
During the previous parliamentary term Mr Barnett chose to give a staff member to independent MLAs but only those who supported the Government.A recount yesterday of the marginal Lower House seat of Collie-Preston confirmed Labor's Mick Murray as the winner. But his margin was reduced from 59 votes to 56.
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