Labor leader Mark McGowan has pledged $50 million for public housing and promised to reinstate the Waterwise efficiency rebates program as he seeks to put cost-of-living pressures back on the political agenda in the election campaign's final week.
But he risks a backlash from local government after another plank of his plan - a NSW-style cap on council rates - was rejected by the sector, which invoked the prospect of cuts to services if it went ahead.
Mr McGowan chose the Victoria Park rental home of actor, tutor and single mother Caitlin Beresford-Ord to spruik the virtues of his cost-of-living plan, which includes previously announced commitments such as the pledge to abolish the rental option fee, abolition of the city-country electricity cross-subsidy and a $200 payment to the parents of Year 11 and 12 students.
He said Labor would reinstate the Waterwise program, which was axed in 2009. It allowed households to claim rebates on rainwater tanks, efficient showerheads, appliances and greywater systems.
Mr McGowan also pledged to cap council rate increases at 4.5 per cent a year from 2014-15.
"Rates are a major burden on families and some councils put them up relentlessly each year," he said.
But WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard said just 3 per cent of the tax burden was created by local government compared with 83 per cent from Federal taxes and 14 per cent from State taxes. "I've not heard anyone cite the NSW Government as a best-practice example," he said."We don't want that example prevailing in WA."
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