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Less than 1 per cent swing needed for O’Connor to change hands

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With just a week to go until polling day The Nationals WA candidate for O’Connor John Hassell said the seat is still within reach despite the dodgy preference deal between the Liberal and Labor Parties.

“Despite the dodgy deal, O’Connor remains one of the most marginal seats in Australia, with just a 0.95 per cent vote swing required to secure the electorate for The Nationals WA,” Mr Hassell said.

“Voting patterns in 2013 show that Labor voters in O’Connor will choose to reject the Labor-Liberal How To Vote card and cast their votes in the best interests of their electorate.”

Mr Hassell said The Nationals WA had a strong track record of representing O’Connor in Federal Parliament – something O’Connor voters were lamenting under their current representative.

“The Liberals want to push ahead with the current GST returns, which have cost our State $30.5 billion since 2010,” Mr Hassell said.

“The Backpacker Tax is forecast to cost the Australian economy a further $350 million a year, and will lose more money than it ever raises.

“Both these issues are clearly important to the people of regional WA, but the Liberal Party have fundamentally failed to deliver necessary change.”

Mr Hassell said comments made earlier this week by Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party Julie Bishop were proof of the need for change.

“When WA’s highest ranking Liberal MP is saying the Liberals won’t support WA’s fair share of the GST it is proof positive that we need a different view in Federal Parliament.

“If the last three years have shown us anything, it’s that the Liberal Party isn’t prepared to stand up on this issue.”

Mr Hassell said regional telecommunications had also been a major let-down for the people of O’Connor.

“While the metropolitan area is benefitting from faster internet speeds and better mobile phone coverage than ever before, many areas of O’Connor are trapped in the past.

“Working with my State colleagues, we’ve invested $85 million through Royalties for Regions to leverage Federal Government investment into WA to build more than 260 new phone towers across regional WA.

“The Federal funding for the Mobile Black Spot Programme simply would not have come without the groundwork laid by The Nationals WA and Royalties for Regions.”

Over the campaign, The National Party has made a number of announcements which will benefit O’Connor including:

  • Implementing a Private Member’s Bill to end the GST rip-off;
  • Getting rid of the Backpacker Tax for good;
  • Greater support and investment for regional health, including establishing Australia’s first Rural Health Commissioner to champion regional health issues;
  • Better access and investment in education, including easier access to Youth Allowance for regional students;
  • $60 million to continue the Federal Mobile Black Spot Programme and build on the work of Royalties for Regions investment into regional communications.
  • $100 million to fully seal the Outback Way between WA and Queensland;

“The Nationals WA are committed to giving the people of O’Connor a strong, regional voice in Federal Parliament,” Mr Hassell said.

“Vote 1 for The Nationals WA and reject the dodgy deal between Labor and the Liberals.”