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Federal election 2022: Anthony Albanese vows to pay more attention to WA if elected Prime Minister

Anthony Albanese says he wants to break the dominance of the “Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra triangle”, pledging WA would get more attention if he became Prime Minister.

Speaking ahead of next weekend’s ALP campaign launch in Perth, Mr Albanese said he had made the decision to launch his campaign at Optus Stadium — a first in Federal politics — more than a year ago in a symbolic message to the nation that WA mattered.

“I think it’s important that the country looks west and east and north and south,” Mr Albanese told The Sunday Times.

“We can’t be a country that’s dominated by the Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra triangle.

“And us having the launch in Perth is I think very significant and it’s been welcomed.

“There’s a sense of excitement amongst the Labor team in the west.

It (WA) is critically important to the economy and the nation and I want to bring the nation together and unite the nation.

Mr Albanese and WA Premier Mark McGowan isolating at home after contracting COVID but Federal Labor senator Penny Wong said on Saturday she not believe the pair’s absence this week would hurt the party’s chances.

Mr Albanese is hoping to do what neither Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard nor Bill Shorten could do before him —reverse Labor’s poor federal results in WA.

At the 2019 election, Labor boasted it could win as many as five additional seats here in the west.

Labor won no additional seats, hanging on to five out of 16 federal seats (Stirling has since been abolished).

Mr Albanese said WA is likely to determine the May 21 election.

“It (WA) could well decide (the election),” Mr Albanese said.

“But also I think that because this government has been so contemptuous about WA — including siding with Clive Palmer in the legal case that it (launching campaign in Perth) sends a message about how federal Labor regards WA as being critically important.

“It (WA) is critically important to the economy and the nation and I want to bring the nation together and unite the nation.”

But the road to victory for Mr Albanese, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not be easy.

It could well be that a handful of Independents will determine the fate of this poll.

In WA, the blue-ribbon seat of Curtin it at real risk of being won by Independent Kate Chaney.

Ms Chaney said on Saturday that if she won Curtin she would be willing to negotiate with the major parties if they wanted her support to form government.

“To the extent possible, I will retain my independence,” Ms Chaney said.

“If my support is required to form a minority government I would negotiate on the issues that I’m standing on and provide support to the party that makes a credible commitment on those issues.”

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