Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appealed to state Labor voters in Western Australia to consider voting for the Coalition at the upcoming federal election because, in his view, he and WA Premier Mark McGowan are on a unity ticket when it comes to the resources sector.
“Federal Labor under Anthony Albanese is not the same as state Labor under Mark McGowan,” the PM said during today’s press conference, noting they were “two very different animals”.
“We’ve worked very closely with Mark McGowan here in Western Australia to deliver and support the path he has been on and to ensure the economic dividend – especially in our resources sector – can continue to be realised. We’ve done the same with our Defense investments,” he said.
“At the next election, whoever you vote for, Mark McGowan will be the premier the next day. If we’re returned at the next election, I will continue to work closely with the West Australian Premier to get the right outcome for West Australians and on the national scene as well.”
Mr Morrison has been highly critical of the state’s ultra-cautious approach to managing COVID-19 in the past, including its decision to aim for a 90 per cent double vax rate before opening borders when the Delta variant was the country’s dominant strain.
But this year the Prime Minister has been careful to avoid criticism of his state Labor counterpart who is still hugely popular in the state.
Mr McGowan’s decision in January to delay the border opening from its original February 5 date to an unknown date in the future was met with fierce criticisms from the WA Liberals but had the backing of Mr Morrison.
Mr Morrison’s comments come after it was revealed the federal Liberals could face a large swing against them in WA at the next election.
Political polling has suggested federal Labor could land its best result in WA since the 1980s when Australians take to voting booths.
The next federal election is due to be held by the end of May.