A widely applauded serpentine design for a footbridge over Perth's Swan River would not have been chosen if the state government knew it had to be built in Malaysia, Premier Colin Barnett says.
Mr Barnett says cabinet signed off on the design, which was one of four and had been recommended by the project team, without being informed it would be built overseas.
"I've got to say I was a little bit concerned about this one - it was quite an exotic design and I'm sure it will be spectacular and become one of the Perth iconic sights," Mr Barnett said on Wednesday.
"Cabinet were not advised the work would go overseas. If we were aware of that, we would not have chosen this design."
Labor is outraged the main part of the footbridge, which links East Perth to the Burswood Peninsula and is part of the access plan for the new Perth Stadium, is not being made locally.
Mr Barnett said he was disappointed the main structure could not be made locally, but he had been told it could't be.
The Association of Professional Engineers has questioned the structural integrity of the bridge, saying it needs to be approved by local experts, but the premier has rejected their concerns.