Take me to  the Tower:  Barnett
Off to the Tower: Colin Barnett taunted the Opposition. Picture: Supplied

Colin Barnett said the Opposition should "take me off to the Tower of London" if it was proved he misled Parliament over links between the Burswood stadium and Crown Perth's new hotel.

The riposte came amid heated debate as Labor tried to refer the Premier to the Procedures and Privileges Committee over whether he misled the Lower House when he said there was no link between the sale of land for the hotel and the stadium. The attempt failed on party lines.

LIVE CHAT - PREMIER COLIN BARNETT

The debate was sparked by revelations in The Weekend West the Government, in correspondence between Department of Premier and Cabinet boss Peter Conran and Crown chief executive Barry Felstead, sought to make app- roval of the stadium by Crown a condition of the sale of 5.8ha of golf course land for the hotel.

That approval, which was required under the Act of Parliament that governs the casino, was eventually incorporated as a condition in the sale contract and development agreement.

Mr Barnett said he had done nothing wrong, calling on the Opposition to make an allegation.

"The allegation is you misled the Parliament," Labor's Rita Saffioti said.

Mr Barnett replied: "Big deal!"

Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said the land Mr Barnett selected to build the stadium was not unconstrained legally.

"You couldn't go and build something there without getting permission from the Trustee, being Burswood (Crown)," he said. "You went out there (in 2011), played your political cards, said that's where I want the stadium, a year before you got the permission. Talk about putting the State in an awful bargaining position."

Mr Barnett said he had been adamant to keep the stadium and the hotel separate, even instructing the State Solicitor's Office "to ensure that clear line was there".

But the SSO advised the Government needed to get consent or Crown could walk away from the Burswood Park Board levy, a small percentage of gambling tax set aside to maintain the park.

The West Australian

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