Premier should get on with the State’s business at hand
One of Australia’s greatest attributes is our fair and equitable system of democracy.
Here in WA, any sandgroper — whether rich or poor, influential or otherwise — can run for Parliament and represent their community in State Parliament.
While The Nationals were not returned to Government at the recent State election, we respect the outcome and the people’s right to elect their preferred government of the day. We will always defend this important democratic right, even when the outcome doesn’t deliver us our favoured outcome.
On the contrary, new Premier Mark McGowan believes the people of WA got it wrong when they cast their vote at the ballot box on March 11 because he doesn’t agree with the recent election outcome in the Upper House.
As the House of review, the Legislative Council is an important cog in the parliamentary process, which ensures legislation is subject to an appropriate level of oversight and scrutiny before it becomes law.
Mr McGowan seems to think the role of the Upper House is to simply rubber-stamp decisions of the Lower House. This shows his disregard for the importance of robust debate and in-depth consideration of legislation to deliver the best possible democratic outcomes.
On March 11, the people of WA made a deliberate decision to elect the Upper House it has elected and it is now up to the Premier to work with the outcome and the hand he has been dealt.
At a time when everyday Australians have lost faith in the major parties, Mr McGowan has the nerve to question the democratic process that has delivered the current Parliament.
It’s clear WA’s current Upper House formation is a symptom of voter discontent with the major two and the Premier should listen because this is democracy at play. He now wants to change the way the Upper House is elected because it doesn’t suit his agenda.
The Nationals believe elected representatives should show political courage, question the party line and be free to vote in the best interests of their constituents — this does not occur within the major parties.
We know West Australians understand the power of their vote and we are therefore opposed to any changes that would diminish the voice of regional WA in State Parliament.
We remain firmly committed to ensure regional people are adequately and effectively represented.
As an independent political party, it is our right and responsibility to consider every single piece of legislation on its merits to ensure it delivers the best possible deal for our constituents.
The people of regional WA should expect us to do this to get them the best possible deal.
Instead of questioning the democratic process, I suggest the Premier get on with the business at hand.
Premier Mark McGowan