One month out from the State election, the Liberal Government has pledged a revitalisation of Perth’s Chinatown while state Labor promises to protect domestic violence victims.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said on Saturday WA Labor would introduce a $4.5 million trial program to electronically monitor people who breach violence restraining orders if it wins the March 9 election.
Mr McGowan said victims of domestic violence are not being adequately protected during an increase in the occurrence of domestic offences.
In the past 10 years, 156 women have died from domestic violence in the State.
Mr McGowan said West Australians were outraged by a five-year prison sentence handed down in 2011 to Perth man Bradley Wayne Jones, who murdered his ex-wife Saori Jones in front of her two children and left her body decomposing in their house for more than a week before she was discovered by police.
It moved WA Labor to introduce a private member’s bill, known as Saori’s Law, to parliament last year, but it was voted down by the Barnett Government.
The bill sought the near-automation of restraining orders in domestic assault cases and would have cleared the way for victims to remain in their homes even if the properties were registered in the offenders’ names.
The party is also pushing for tougher sentences.
Mr McGowan, who mooted the plan in a discussion paper in March last year, said: “These brutal crimes are unacceptable and should receive sentences which reflect their seriousness.”
Premier Colin Barnett chose the Chinese New Year to promise $2 million to improve Perth’s Chinatown.
Sticking with his campaign theme of transforming the CBD, Mr Barnett said he wanted to turn the Northbridge area into a vibrant laneway precinct, building on the Perth City Link project currently under way.
This involves sinking the Fremantle rail line to make the border between the city and the entertainment district more pedestrian-friendly.
Two new street connections would be created, the premier said, including connecting the high-end King Street - home of Perth’s most expensive retail rentals - to Lake Street, one of Northbridge’s most bustling roads.
“Chinatown is in a great position to benefit from the Perth City Link project,” he said.
“This will bring many pedestrians to the area.”
The Australian newspaper’s latest Newspoll figures point to a landslide win for the WA Liberals, who lead 57 per cent to 43 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
However, Mr McGowan is romping it in as preferred premier, jumping 11 points to 40 per cent. On the same basis, Mr Barnett has slipped to 44 per cent, down four points.The poll has a three per cent margin of error.
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