Federal Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull is calling for the support of West Australians in the upcoming Senate election, saying the passage of changes such as the carbon repeal are dependent on their votes.
Mr Turnbull said on Sunday the coalition was optimistic they would have a “more receptive” Senate in July - when Labor and the Greens lose control of the upper house - but added much would depend on the West Australian Senate result.
The Liberals picked up three seats in the September election but are at risk of losing one of those spots in an April 5 poll touted as a state-wide by-election.
If Labor wins two and the Greens take the final seat in the election re-run, the government would also be denied a cross-bench conservative vote needed to get its legislation through the upper house.
“The key message for voters in Western Australia ... is that if they want to enable us to do things that we promised to do, which Western Australia overwhelmingly endorsed last year, then we need their support in the Senate by-election,” Mr Turnbull told Sky News.
Last year’s WA Senate election was declared void after the loss of 1375 votes during a recount.