WA Premier Mark McGowan (left) and WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia (Image: AAP/Rebecca Le May)

At the risk of alienating an average of 90% of our readers in the great state of Western Australia — please don’t secede from reading Crikey, guys! — this is pretty outrageous.

WA’s Tourism Minister Paul Papalia launched a “staycation” campaign late last week encouraging people to holiday in the state which has had no community transmission of COVID-19 for months and has been able to return almost to normal — which is fair enough.

Except, the WA government is choosing to partner with Expedia offshoot Wotif for the $500,000 campaign. At a time when local businesses — particularly in tourism — are on the verge of collapse, surely there’s a better recipient of public money than a US-owned business that employs virtually no one in Australia and, until very recently, paid zero tax here.