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$25.5m pledge for key ALP seat
Key battleground: Opposition Leader Mark McGowan and Albany MLA Peter Watson. Picture: Laurie Benson

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan has outlined a grab bag of transport and education pledges as Labor tries to sandbag the seat of Albany for its MP Peter Watson.

Mr McGowan, in Albany yesterday on the first of a three-day campaign swing through the State's south, outlined $25.5 million of promises including $2 million of new planning money for the Albany ring road, $9 million for overtaking lanes on Albany Highway between Mt Barker and Kojonup and early childhood centres at two primary schools.

One of the school pledges - $2.5 million for a five-classroom block and linked activity and play areas at Spencer Park Primary School - matches a commitment made by the Government last year.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell had already announced WA would split with the Federal Government the $1 million cost for planning stages 2 and 3 of the ring road, which aims to better link the port with major highways.

Albany is one of WA's most marginal electorates, with Mr Watson winning the seat for a third term in 2008 by fewer than 100 votes.

Labor, already a rank outsider to win the March 9 election, is widely considered to have no chance if it cannot hold the Great Southern electorate.

Yesterday's pledges come on top of Labor commitments to move the Department of Local Government to Albany and spend $5 million on an ocean pool at Middleton Beach.

Mr McGowan said he would retain control of the regional development portfolio if he became premier, ensuring a better deal for towns such as Albany, and said he would appoint a minister for the Great Southern.

But Labor does not plan to build a gas pipeline from Bunbury to Albany, an election pledge by Colin Barnett in 2008 that was broken when construction failed to begin in his first term.

The Liberals remain committed to a scaled-down $135 million version of the project carrying 12 terajoules of gas a day rather than 50 terajoules, which the Premier promises will be operating by 2015.

Liberal candidate for Albany Trevor Cosh said he was underwhelmed by Mr McGowan's announcements and the pipeline remained a big issue for the town, which relies on bottled gas.

Mr Cosh was confident he could win the seat.