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Caught Shorten: Bill still has no love for regional WA

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has again snubbed regional Western Australia by refusing to venture outside of Perth on his latest visit to the State.

In WA last week for the sixth time this year, Mr Shorten again thumbed his nose at regional West Australians by limiting himself to marginal electorates in the city and urban fringe.

Leader Mia Davies said she was increasingly concerned at Federal Labor’s disregard for regional communities.

“Mr Shorten appears to be following the poor example set by the McGowan Labor Government in its snubbing of regional WA,” she said.

The Nationals Kalgoorlie-based Senate candidate Nick Fardell said it was clear from Mr Shorten’s absence that Labor did not expect to win the seats of O’Connor and Durack but the party still had a responsibility to govern in the best interests of all Australians if elected. 

“What Mr Shorten’s actions are saying to the people of Kalgoorlie, Albany, Esperance, Karratha, Broome, Carnarvon and everywhere in-between is that a vote for Labor is a vote for city interests,” he said.

Since being announced a candidate, Mr Fardell has been racking up the “country Ks” in his bid to be the first Nationals Senator from WA in more than 40 years.

“On 19 July my odometer read 161,937km. Today it shows 191,548km,” Mr Fardell said.

“That’s almost 30,000km in the space of 119 days – or 250km per day.”

Last month “Big Nick” was in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome in the space of just five days, having driven the whole way.

“In these last few months I’ve been to Kambalda four times while dropping into Bunbury, Moora, Laverton, Leonora and Albany three times each,” he said.

“I’ve twice been to Collie, Menzies, Northam, Wiluna, Meekatharra, Carnarvon, Karratha, Roebourne and Newman. There’s too many others to name that I’ve been to once but I intend to go back to each.

“I would encourage Mr Shorten to do some regional travel the next time he jets west.

“He may then understand the issues regional people face every day and meet the communities which keep the country’s economy ticking over.”