New Parliament year sees Labor continuing to neglect key issues

The Opposition has used the first day of the Parliamentary sitting year to call on the Cook Labor Government to get their priorities in order, following a summer of power outages, crime and antisocial behaviour, and skyrocketing cost-of-living pressures for WA families.

Opposition Leader Shane Love MLA said Labor’s Parliamentary priorities for 2024 remained unclear and warned Labor not to rush legislation through Parliament ahead of next year’s State Election.

“While the Cook Government’s focus for the year is unclear, we also know that this is Labor’s last opportunity to push through legislation before they lose their stranglehold over Parliament,” Mr Love said.

“It will be tempting for Labor to use their absolute power to treat Parliament as a rubber stamp to promote their ideological agenda – such as their proposed overhaul of WA’s firearms legislation.

“I would caution Premier Cook to remember how sensible debate on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act was sidelined, resulting in an entirely avoidable and embarrassing backflip.”

Mr Love also warned voters to pay heed to issues Labor was not prepared to progress ahead of an election year.

“The State Government quietly shelved long-promised water reforms at the end of last year, claiming these are no longer on the agenda, while their overhaul of the Equal Opportunity Act also appears to have gone on the back burner.

“The question needs to be asked, what else will they be holding back until after the election.”

Mr Love also used the first Question Time of 2024 to call for an independent review into the extended power outage in the Goldfields, Wheatbelt, and Perth Hills region which impacted more than 30,000 households last month.

“When Perth residents were impacted by the Christmas 2021 power outages, the WA Labor was swift to announce an independent review into the cause and the response by Government and agencies,” Mr Love said.

“Regional residents expect and deserve to be treated fairly and the circumstances that saw thousands of residents being without power and communications, and with limited water and fuel for days must be examined.

“The abject failure of backup power supply in our regions, the failure by the Government to invest adequately, and the lack of resilient telecommunications networks all need to be considered.”

Mr Love said the Government’s $240 compensation package for those impacted was “miserly” and called for more support for impacted businesses.

“Businesses have reported losses of up to $100,000 in stock which won’t be covered by insurance. The Government’s $240 outage payment is a drop in the ocean.”