About 200,000 households across WA’s election battleground seats are this week receiving a “letter” from Mark McGowan that “recommends” they vote for Labor on Saturday.
The letter, paid for by WA Labor but bearing Mr McGowan’s photograph and signature, is a last-ditch move by ALP strategists to capitalise on the Premier’s popularity.
It was sent to voters in the Liberal-held electorates of Swan, Pearce, Hasluck – two of which Labor hopes to win as part of the net seven seat gain needed to form majority government.
The election material rehashes the Opposition’s attack ads that attempt to remind West Australians that the Coalition Government briefly supported Clive Palmer’s bid to tear down the hard border.
Writing in the first-person, Mr McGowan goes on to warn in his letter that “there is a continued and real threat to our fair GST deal that we fought so hard for”.
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What the Premier neglects to mention is that the deal – which delivered the State Government $5.9 billion this year alone – was delivered in 2018 by the then Federal treasurer Scott Morrison.
Mr McGowan also writes that he is alarmed by reports that the Liberal Party has done a preference swap deal with Mr Palmer’s United Australia Party.
“It is desperate and blatant, and an insult to every Australian,” his letter states, without explaining that the Liberal Party has placed the UAP last on their how-to-vote cards in WA.
The Liberal Party, is however, encouraging its supports to preference the UAP in the Senate in every State except WA, as reported by The West Australian.
The most controversial passage of the letter to voters is on national security. Without naming China specifically, Mr McGowan repeats his criticism of the Coalition’s hard-line stance.
“We have to be sensible on the international stage. Hundreds of thousands of WA jobs depend on strong, mature trading relationships – not chest-beating and fear-mongering,” he writes.
“Now, more than I ever, I need a partner in Canberra who can help us face these challenges. Anthony Albanese is the partner WA needs.”
It comes after the Premier accused Defence Minister Peter Dutton of trying to stir up fear to win votes over the recent presence of a Chinese intelligence ship off the WA coast.
The Coalition has been fearful about Mr McGowan helping Labor win WA seats, with Mr Morrison insisting Mr Albanese was “not the same” as the Premier.
In a scenario which will send shivers down the spines of Liberal strategists, the Premier is expected to hand out how-to-vote cards for Labor in key marginal seats on May 21.