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Treasurer Mike Nahan has suggested Labor has promised to build a rail line to Ellenbrook as a “pay off” to property developers who have big amounts of land in the area.
The extraordinary claim came as the Barnett Government seized on comments by the competition watchdog as evidence the sale of Western Power would not drive up electricity prices, as Labor has warned.
Ramping up pressure on Labor for its refusal to submit its policies to Treasury for costing, Dr Nahan claimed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief Rod Sims had “intervened” in the State election by stating electricity bills would be lower after the part sale of Western Power.
Mr Sims told The West Australian this week power prices would be lower because the new owner would be more efficient.
Attacking Labor’s election promises, Dr Nahan suggested the Opposition’s $900 million plan to build a line to the north-eastern suburb of Ellenbrook was designed to win marginal seats in the area and appease property developers.
“It pays off the many moneyed interests and property developers who have land in that area,” Dr Nahan said.
“That’s not a good reason to put at risk the finances of the State.”
The Treasurer declined to give further details to explain his claim.
Labor’s shadow transport minister Rita Saffioti said Dr Nahan’s attack was a desperate attempt at smear.
“Dr Nahan will say anything to try and discredit Metronet, but he has failed time and again. This is just another desperate attempt from a desperate Liberal Party,” Ms Saffioti said.
Under Labor’s Metronet rail plan, a McGowan government would run a spur line from the Midland line to Morley and Ellenbrook.
Mr McGowan dismissed Mr Sims’ assessment that electricity bills would be lower under the Liberal Party’s privatisation plan.
“I disagree with Mr Sims ... he has an Eastern States, a Canberra point of view,” Mr McGowan said.
The Labor leader took the privatisation debate further by suggesting the Water Corporation was the Barnett Government’s next target to be sold.
“Mr Barnett, prior to the last election, said he wouldn’t sell Western Power or Fremantle port and he’s broken those promises,” Mr McGowan said.
“Water Corporation will be next because the record is there.”
This article first appeared on thewest.com.au
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