Big Libs let WA down: sen­a­tor

Pilbara News - - News - An­drew Probyn

South Aus­tralian sen­a­tor Nick Xenophon says WA’s bevy of se­nior Lib­er­als in the Fed­eral Govern­ment are not us­ing their com­bined weight to lever­age a bet­ter deal for the State.

Mr Xenophon, a mas­ter at us­ing his vote to ex­tract con­ces­sions for his home State, told The West Aus­tralian that WA was not see­ing as much ad­van­tage as its Fed­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tion would sug­gest.

“Last time I checked, you’ve got three of the most in­flu­en­tial mem­bers of the Govern­ment who are West Aus­tralians, namely Julie Bishop, Sen­a­tor Mathias Cor­mann and Chris­tian Porter to name but a few,” he said.

“You’ve also got power­bro­kers and ris­ing stars like Linda Reynolds and then there’s min­is­ter Michael Keenan.” He omit­ted to men­tion Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Michaelia Cash, who is the fourth West Aus­tralian in Mal­colm Turn­bull’s Cab­i­net.

“Western Aus­tralia is punch­ing well above its weight in terms of Cab­i­net rep­re­sen­ta­tion but that doesn’t seem to be the case in terms of out­comes for the State,” Mr Xenophon said.

“And that’s some­thing you need to ask those Cab­i­net min­is­ters. I think you need to ask whether there is lever­age there that’s not be­ing used.”

His com­ments echo those of State Trea­surer Mike Na­han af­ter the State Bud­get when he ques­tioned why WA could make so lit­tle progress on the GST with such his­tor­i­cally high num­ber of Cab­i­net min­is­ters.

When Mr Xenophon was asked what he would do to ex­tract a bet­ter deal for WA on such things as the GST carve-up if he rep­re­sented the State, he said: “It’s like the KFC recipe: I’m not go­ing to tell you”.

It is be­cause of Mr Xenophon’s agi­ta­tion that South Aus­tralia re­ceived the lion’s share of the $50 bil­lion sub­ma­rine con­tract from the Turn­bull Govern­ment.

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

South Aus­tralian in­de­pen­dent sen­a­tor Nick Xenophon.

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