Barnett moves on
Premier Colin Barnett "disappoined' with latest attack on council amalgamations from within Liberal ranks. Picture:Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Premier Colin Barnett says he is disappointed his parliamentary secretary, John McGrath, openly attacked the State Government over council amalgamations.

Mr McGrath, the Liberal member for South Perth, has accused the Government of “trickery” and deliberately “misleading” constituents.

But when questioned this morning about whether Mr McGrath will continue serving as his parliamentary secretary, Mr Barnett said the Government would “move on”.

“I have always defended the right of members of parliament to be able to speak their mind, and particularly on matters relating to their electorate,” Mr Barnett said.

“I was disappointed in the way in which John expressed that, but, you know, we move on.”

Mr McGrath made the comments when he addressed a community rally of 400 residents in his electorate on Thursday night.

He is the third WA Liberal MP to have broken ranks to openly attack the Government over council amalgamations recently.

Last month, former Liberal minister Simon O’Brien accused the government of misleading the public over council amalgamations, saying any suggestion they were not being forced is “tripe”.

Mr O’Brien, member for the South Metropolitan region, told Parliament the government had employed “verbal gymnastics” to suggest forced boundary changes were not the same as forced amalgamations.

Liberal MP Nick Goiran has also raised concerns about the Government’s plan, which is being considered by the Local Government Advisory Board.

The West Australian

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