The flyer I received in my letterbox yesterday from the Liberal Candidate for Kalgoorlie gave me a conflicting mixture of pride and dismay.
Pride because it lists all the things that have been achieved in the region over the last four years, and dismay because the Liberal candidate is claiming credit for it all.
If he is asked by the media what his commitments are for the electorate he cannot come up with anything and yet he is quite happy to claim credit for other people’s work.
The truth is that the majority of the achievements listed on the flyer were initiated by The Nationals, presented to Cabinet by The Nationals, delivered by The Nationals and funded by Royalties for Regions, a Nationals policy.
This government has served the Goldfields well, but without Royalties for Regions it would have been a pretty dry argument and the current Liberal candidate had nothing to do with those achievements. The disingenuous attempt by the Liberal Candidate to hoodwink voters is what makes them lose respect for politicians in the first place. If he can’t be truthful before he gets into Parliament, what hope is there should he be successful?
Don’t forget that it was the Liberals who closed the Department of Aboriginal Affairs office, it was the Liberals who moved the Department of Transport Regional Manager and the TAFE administration to Geraldton, it was the Liberals who proposed an increase in the Gold Royalty and The Nationals who blocked it, and it was the Liberals who took away the promised funding for the Step Up Step Down mental health facility.
We hear earnest assurances from both Liberal and Labor that they will keep Royalties for Regions. The problem is that their party room is dominated by city politicians dying to get their hands on the money that belongs to the regions. If their city mates decide to change the legislation, crossing the floor is probably not going to help.
They might keep Royalties for Regions in name but I do not trust them not to mainstream it into salaries and road building so they can use the money saved to pay for their grand city projects.
I helped create the Royalties for Regions policy, it is not intended for normal government operational expenditure, and it is not safe without a strong contingent of Nationals in Parliament to protect it.
Wendy Duncan MLA
Member for Kalgoorlie