Bar­nett:Stronger af­ter chal­lenge

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

Bar­nett CON­STITUENTS have stuck with Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett fol­low­ing the failed pre­mier­ship chal­lenge from Dean Nalder last month.

“I par­tic­u­larly ap­pre­ci­ated the dozens of text mes­sages I got from lo­cal con­stituents sup­port­ing me, en­cour­ag­ing me, and peo­ple just stop­ping me in the street and say­ing ‘Well done’, ‘Good luck’ and ‘We back you’. So some good comes out of it,” Mr Bar­nett said.

A 31-15 party room vote not to spill Mr Bar­nett’s lead­er­ship bid stopped first-term Mr Nadler, who had the prime transport and agri­cul­ture port­fo­lios.

“I just think it’s a great pity he just did not con­cen­trate on prov­ing him­self to be a good and ef­fec­tive min­is­ter, and to try and make a tilt for the lead­er­ship in your first term was just un­re­al­is­tic. I hope he does have a fu­ture, and I hope he does stay in pol­i­tics,” Mr Bar­nett said.

Mr Bar­nett said he took a “philo­soph­i­cal” view of the bid af­ter eight years in the State’s top job.

How­ever, a third of the party room did want to test the wa­ter of his lead­er­ship.

“Two-thirds weren’t in­ter­ested, and I’d say of the 15 peo­ple who voted for a spill there would be sev­eral amongst them who just though it was just a good idea to have a vote but they would have ac­tu­ally sup­ported me at the end,” Mr Bar­nett said.

He is now “qui­etly con­fi­dent” about the March State Elec­tion.

“So Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment are ner­vous, and they can see the polls prob­a­bly favoured La­bor, although I think it’s prob­a­bly very close now,” Mr Bar­nett said.

He clar­i­fied that any pre­sump­tion bad polls af­ter the lead­er­ship fi­asco could prompt his de­par­ture.

“Look I haven’t said that, and that’s mis­con­strued. What I have said is I’ll al­ways do the right thing by the Lib­eral Party. Now in­ter­pret what you want out of that,” he said

“I think the die is cast. I’m the leader, and I think there’s not much doubt at all I will lead the party into the next elec­tion.”

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