Don t vote for bit players: Barnett
Don't vote for bit players: Barnett

Colin Barnett has encouraged WA voters not to "trash Australian democracy" by voting in the Senate by-election for micro-parties featuring interstate candidates "having a lend of the public".

But the Premier was accused of tarnishing the reputation of major parties by admitting it would not have been "physically possible" to build a rail line to the airport by 2018 - a major Liberal promise of the last State election.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan agreed voters should choose carefully, but said Mr Barnett's "rewriting of history" was symptomatic of why people became disillusioned with mainstream politics.

On 6PR Radio yesterday, Mr Barnett said a Senate ballot paper featuring 77 candidates "with all sorts of weird and wonderful causes" had become a "farce". "I would urge people to look at the significant parties in Australian politics and the significant candidates," he said.

"Some of the independents are decent people, I don't deny that, don't just throw your vote away, don't just trash Australian democracy."

Talkback caller Chris complained that he had voted Liberal at last year's State election on the basis of promises to build a rail line to the airport by 2018 and extend to the Roe Highway.

Mr Barnett said the extension dubbed Roe 8 would cost "probably $800 million and we simply don't have those funds".

On the airport line, which has since been pushed back to 2020, he said: "2018 - I don't think it would be physically possible to complete the rail in that period of time".

During the campaign Riverton MLA Mike Nahan, who is now Treasurer, released a flyer authorised by Liberal State director Ben Morton declaring "The Liberals will build the Roe 8 extension".

Mr Barnett said yesterday individual Liberal candidates may have told voters "what they wanted to achieve as an MP" but the Government had never committed to building it during the current term.

"The election campaign was over a year ago, let's move on," he said.

Don't just throw your vote away, don't just trash Australian democracy."Premier Colin Barnett

The West Australian

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