The West

Opposition to the carbon tax by Western Australia's Labor leader Mark McGowan has been ridiculed by the state's Liberals as electioneering by a "fence sitter".

Mr McGowan distanced himself from Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard by saying he opposed a carbon tax but was in favour of an emissions trading scheme, and would support the mining tax only if WA got back what it put in.

State Treasurer Troy Buswell said the decision to suddenly reveal a position on the carbon tax four weeks out from an election was "odd".

"I am astounded, and it may have been prompted by a suggestion that there was going to be some questions to be asked of him by the public," Mr Buswell said.

"I don't think that was a prick of conscience, I think that was an attempt to get ahead of the game of the ebb and flow of political debate.

"The carbon tax debate has been raging for two years, and isn't it odd that the person who wants to be the premier of this state only starts talking about it four weeks before the election?

"He is a fence sitter."

A WA Liberal election campaign pamphlet, revealed on Monday, painted Mr McGowan as a leader who "can't make decisions, and can't add up", which the Labor party labelled dirty campaigning.

A Newspoll published on Monday shows 54 per cent of voters believe Mr Barnett is more capable of handling the state's economy, compared to 33 per cent for Mr McGowan.

But the leaders are tied at 81 per cent when it comes to having a vision for the state.

Mr McGowan eclipses the Liberal leader for likeability, at 82 per cent compared to Mr Barnett's 62 per cent.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West