PREMIER Mark McGowan has reiterated his commitment to Darling Range in the wake of the Barry Urban scandal.
The Darling Range MHR resigned from the Labor Party but did not quit Parliament entirely after it was discovered he made false claims about his past, including wearing fake military medals.
However, Mr McGowan re-iterated the State Government’s commitment to the area and said it would honour election promises.
“The Government has not forgotten this area and will continue to deliver its election commitments to the people of Darling Range and make sure the commitments are provided,” he said.
“Despite what happened with Barry, this area is front and foremost in our thinking. I just want it to be clear we’re delivering our commitments, we care about this area, and I want to make sure people from this area are heard and not forgotten.”
The Premier said he disagreed with claims Mr Urban had got off lightly and defended the actions of his party.
“To resign from your political party, be investigated by parliamentary committee and to have the humiliation of having your face on the front page of the paper for weeks on end, they’re pretty hard things to endure,” he said.
“We can’t employ private detectives to follow everyone up, you take people at their word because otherwise the cost and expense for every claim someone makes about their life would be quite extreme.
“We deal with the most important things, like citizenship and criminal records.”
Premier pleased with start to life in Government
The Premier said he had enjoyed the nine months since his election victory and was happy to talk about a number of developments which had occurred during his reign.
He said while changes to the “very dated” Local Government Act were in their infancy, he believed the changes would be for the better.
“Councils, developers and builders are all complaining about them, part of the intention is to make sure there’s more efficient processes and decision making,” he said.
Mr McGowan also confirmed legislation allowing the State Government to sack individual local government councillors was unlikely to be passed before Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s two-day penalty hearing with the State Administrative Tribunal in the new year.
The Premier also stood by his desire to see high-rise development in Scarborough, despite the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority refusing an application for a 43-storey project.
“I’m a supporter of high-rise there, I thought the project itself was a good project and we’re looking at what could be done to progress the 3 Oceans concept and the Planning Minister is working on that,” he said.
“The State has invested $100 million in the Scarborough Beach redevelopment and we’ve got to create life and vitality around that, and private sector investment to create jobs and excitement, so that’s the plan.”
He also praised the progress of the $1.8 billion Forrestfield-Airport link, which will connect the CBD with the airport by 2020, and hailed the start of the Metronet project, starting with the Thornlie train line extension.
“Both (Forrestfield-Airport link) tunnels are under construction, the tunnel boring machines are currently beavering away down there and the tunnels are being constructed. It’s quite a big engineering project, but all the advice I have is that its going well,” he said.
“(The Thornlie train line extension) is the missing link to enable people of the region to access jobs and to enable the southern suburbs to access the stadium. It also reflects the enormous growth there.”