Big Libs let WA down: senator
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.
South Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon.