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| width="300" align="left" valign="top" | _______________________________ 13.02.2013
During a press conference in Rossmoyne on Monday (Feb 11), Labor’s Riverton candidate Hannah Beazley said: "Crime in this area is up over the last four years. Home burglaries are up 90 per cent, car thefts are up over 100 per cent."
Ms Beazley later said her remark was based on crime figures for the suburbs of Parkwood, Riverton, Shelley and Willetton supplied to Parliament. Those figures indicate 183 home burglaries occurred in the 2009-10 financial year, which rose to 343 in 2011-12 – an increase of 87 per cent. During the same period car thefts rose from 18 to 47 – an increase of 160 per cent. The one suburb in the Riverton electorate which was not included in the statistics was well-heeled Rossmoyne, where Ms Beazley was standing when she made the remark. But Rossmoyne only became part of Riverton after an electoral distribution in 2011.
The figures didn’t include Rossmoyne, which may have told a different story, and were over three, not four years. But home burglaries and car thefts have risen in the vast majority of the Riverton electorate under the Barnett Government.
Pledging $8.8 million to boost literacy rates, Labor leader Mark McGowan said in a news release that "it is unacceptable that between 16 and 25 per cent of students in the Western Australian public education system achieve literacy scores at or below the minimum national standards".
Asked to verify the figure after Education Minister Peter Collier described it as "abject nonsense", shadow education minister Paul Papalia said the figure was based on evidence given to a parliamentary committee in 2009. He quoted UWA clinical pyschologist Steve Heath as telling the committee it applied to Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 but later clarified the figure was actually between 23 and 25 per cent. Hansard also shows Dr Heath’s evidence was based on data from 2008. Mr Collier pointed to last year’s NAPLAN test results in which the percentage of students who failed to meet minimum benchmarks varied between 10.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent for Years 3 to 9.
The Labor assertion is based on dated figures and is grouping students "at" the minimum standard with those "below". Labor is yet to demonstrate that, based on the most recent NAPLAN figures, up to a quarter of WA students as a whole are achieving below or at minimum literacy benchmarks.
With the truthfulness of election promises in the spotlight, Labor’s candidate for Morley and former television journalist Reece Whitby took to Twitter yesterday, declaring:
“Heading out to door knock in Noranda where WA Labor would build a Noranda train station.”
Labor’s Metronet public transport policy provides for a station at a location identified as “Noranda”. The Metronet policy document, available on its website, identifies five so-called key priorities, but Labor has so far
refused to reveal which would be built first or at what cost. Treasurer Troy Buswell claims Metronet will cost more than $5 billion; Labor says the program is about the same scale as its New MetroRail projects between 2001 and 2008, which cost about $1.7 billion in 2007 dollars. “The exact location of (a Noranda station) is subject to engineering and design work but the proposal is it would be between Benara Road and Reid Highway,” shadow transport minister Ken Travers told The Fact Checker. “The specific timing of which projects and when will be made as
part of our election commitment.”
Impossible to make a definitive call at this stage. Labor must explain when and how it will pay for it.
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| width="300" valign="top" | _______________________________ 29.01.2013
Labor leader Mark McGowan issued a press release yesterday stating: “Under Colin Barnett, each WA household has copped increases in State Government fees and charges of more than $1100 a year.”
Utility costs have increased under the Barnett Government, notably electricity (costing 62 per cent more) and water (51 per cent more). To quantify the impact of changes to government fees and tariffs, Treasury applies the rates to a “standard representative household” each year in the May Budget papers. The snapshot’s assumptions include the household having two adults and two children, one standard Australian sedan which both parents drive, with the family consuming average levels of electricity and water. The family owns and occupies a home and purchases five standard, two-zone Transperth fares and 10 student fares each week. In the 2008-2009 Budget, the cost of the “basket” of goods and services was $3612.97, and in 2012-13 it was $4748.77 — an increase of $1135.80. In a speech yesterday, Mr McGowan said the “average family” was paying more than $1100 extra “since Mr Barnett’s Government was elected”.
Mr McGowan’s speech is correct but his press statement is false for claiming that the $1100-plus increase has been yearly and applies to every house in WA. The $1135 increase has been spread over four years and applies only to the average household. Deviations from the “standard representative household” would produce a lower — or higher — figure.
Premier Colin Barnett, on Nova 93.7 radio, was asked how much it would cost taxpayers if Labor won the election abandoned the Burswood stadium in favour of Subiaco. “I would say probably in the order of $100 million would have been lost,” Mr Barnett said.
Asked the same question on December 14, the Premier told reporters: “I would guess probably $20 million.” Yesterday, asked by The Fact Checker how this new $100 million figure was calculated, he claimed moving the stadium to Subiaco would cause a two year delay and costs would “inevitably” be higher to include the resumption of homes and realignment of roads. The most robust publicly available comparison of stadium options, the Langoulant report, which considered these factors, found a stadium Burswood would be 35 per cent more expensive than Subiaco and take six months longer to build. Neither of the major Burswood stadium contracts — for siteworks or for the stadium building itself — will be awarded before the March 9 election. The State Budget papers reveal just $13 million of taxpayers money will have been spent to June 30, 2013.
The $100 million figure looks like a wild exaggeration.
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