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McGowan not fussed with Gillard absence
State Opposition leader Mark McGowan at AMC this morning. Picture: Michael Wilson / The West Australian.

Labor leader Mark McGowan this morning refused to be drawn on the Gillard Government's jobs package despite spruiking his own plan to boost investment at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson.

Mr McGowan said if elected he planned to establish the Australian Marine Complex Technology Park.

He said in a red tape-busting move he also planned to amend existing legislation to bring control of approvals for the complex from four State agencies to one Government body.

"WA Labor's changes will transform the AMC and surrounding area into one of the nation's biggest industry technology parks," he said.

"We will also expand the boundaries of the AMC."

However despite saying the changes would create thousands of new jobs he refused to be drawn on the Gillard Government's jobs package.

The Federal Government plan includes new legislation to ensure major projects give local companies early notice of contract opportunities.

Projects worth more than $2 billion will also be forced to have an Australian Industry Opportunity officer in the workplace.

"I haven't exactly seen it. It's not (linked to his announcement). We run our own show, we run our own policies.

"But anything that ensures there are more manufacturing jobs in Australia I support."

Mr McGowan said his plan showed a Government did not have to spend millions of dollars to boost economic growth.

Asked if this was a criticism of the Federal plan, which is cutting a research and development tax break to fund the package, he said: "It's a State Election, I'm running on State issues."

"The Federal Government do what they do. Look, I'm not aware of the detail," Mr McGowan said.

Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott and Premier Colin Barnett yesterday used Ms Gillard's absence from Mr McGowan's campaign to accuse Labor of being ashamed of their own brand.

Mr McGowan today hit back at the chides while saying he had not seen the latest Nielsen Poll showing Ms Gillard's approval rating plummet.

"In any event this is a State election. If Mr Barnett wants to have Mr Abbott with him during the State campaign, that's up to him. I can stand on my own two feet."

Asked if the poor opinion polling for the Federal Government hurt the Labor brand, he said: "Time will tell. But March 9 is the day people will vote, not going to pre-empt that. All I'm going to say is when you vote on March 9 you need to understand it's about the priorities of the State Government and whether my priorities are superior to Colin Barnett's."