Is WA Labor trying to hide the promises it made before the election, now it has gained government and worked out how hard it will be to actually deliver them? If you visit the WA Labor website, you will find it free of anything relating to election commitments. Perhaps Labor would rather people couldn’t easily remind themselves exactly what those promises were.

Yesterday, the crumbling scenery of Western Australia’s budget situation– new Premier Mark McGowan called them “the worst since the great depression” — seemed to have caught everyone in WA Labor unawares. We knew it was bad, but not this bad was the general line — indeed, Labor’s prediction of a $43 billion net debt by 2020 is worse than the $41.1 billion predicted by Treasury back in February.

The homepage offers standard options, like “about WA Labor” and “find your local Labor MP” — almost as if an election never happened at all.

The “about” section offers the opportunity to view WA Labor’s platform, which contains only the 2015 platform document, and stresses it “outlines WA Labor’s core beliefs and policy priorities” and that it “does not contain specific election policies or commitments”. We are directed to visit party leader (and now Premier) Mark McGowan’s website for “election information” — indeed, that’s where one would find the “200 fresh ideas for WA” Labor claimed to have had during the campaign.

However, visitors to markmcgowan.com.au are greeted by the following message:

“Thank you Western Australian! For putting your trust in a McGowan Labor Government.”

Down the page it says:

“We’re getting to work — and we’ll have a new site live soon. In the meantime, please sign up for updates by clicking on the link below.”

Ms Tips signed up and will keep an eye whether those email updates will contain any change to Labor’s approach to, say, the $2.5 billion first stage of the Metronet project (which Labor has committed to delivering by 2023), the tough new drug laws, which would result in life sentences imposed on meth traffickers (perhaps at odds with their recent declaration that prison populations had to be thinned), or more modest policies like “medihotels“, or the freeze on TAFE fees.

*Heard anything that might interest

Peter Fray

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