The major parties are seeking to do a deal in an effort to lock The Nationals WA out of Federal Parliament and deny regional families, businesses and communities strong representation in Canberra.
The Labor Party confirmed on ABC Goldfields-Esperance this morning that they intended to direct preferences to the Liberal Party in O’Connor.
The Nationals WA Candidate for O’Connor, John Hassell, said he was “shocked but not surprised” to find the Labor Party was seeking to preference the Liberals.
“Labor and the Liberals are looking to do a deal to silence country voters and attempt to get rid of The Nationals WA,” Mr Hassell said.
“If they get their way, a vote for Labor will be a vote for Rick Wilson and the Liberal Party in O’Connor.”
Mr Hassel said the two major parties were colluding to prevent a truly regional voice from standing up for O’Connor in Federal Parliament.
“The last time The Nationals WA had a representative for O’Connor in Canberra, it fundamentally altered the way regional WA was viewed,” Mr Hassell said.
“Prime Ministers and Senior Cabinet Ministers who had not set foot in regional WA for years were spending time in O’Connor and directing resources back into the country.
“This renewed focus on regional WA after decades of neglect meant less resources were available for the Eastern States, and the major parties hated it.”
“They’re now looking to cut a deal to protect the status-quo because they’re afraid of what The Nationals WA are able to achieve at a Federal level.”
Mr Hassell said he would campaign harder than ever to ensure regional voters were not silenced by the major parties.
“The Labor Party would rather support the Liberals than give the people of O’Connor and regional WA a real voice in Federal Parliament.
“The only way to ensure issues important to regional WA are taken to Canberra is to Vote 1 for The Nationals WA at the Federal Election.”