Colin Barnett, Mark McGowan and the true cost of costings

"You couldn't do better than 'John from Collie'?""I was going to go with Trevor."

The lighter side of the State Election

Costings – it’s a funny word, used only by politicians and political journalists.

Everybody else just says ‘costs’, because it means the same thing.

But costings have become the chief point of squabble for the past couple of days on the election trail.

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First Premier Colin Barnett had a dig at Labor’s use of Mike Wood – a man with ties to disgraced former Labor Premier Brian Burke – as part of their costings team.

Mr Barnett’s concern was with objectivity, urging Mark McGowan to submit Labor’s policies to Treasury for ‘costing’.

But opposition treasury spokesperson Ben Wyatt fired back in kind on Thursday with some chin music of his own.

“WA Labor won’t be taking any advice from the Liberals on the use of Treasury since they’re not even using Treasury for the entirety of their announcements,” Wyatt said.

“Colin Barnett is the most financially reckless Premier in recent history, anything he says about the State’s finances now just cannot be believed.

“The Premier doesn’t know what careful and considered financial management is.”

Interestingly, Treasurer Mike Nahan told Sky News on Friday he’d have the State back in surplus by 2020.

Mr Nahan was last seen walking on water in his Riverton electorate.

Goose of the week has to go to South West region candidate Wade De Campo, who pretended to be ‘person in the street John’ when he phoned ABC radio to ask Mark McGowan a question on talkback radio.

Wade, bless him, actually used the phrase “I’m just a person on the street”, after mistakenly referring to Mr McGowan as “John”. That was your pretend name, silly.

That, of course, will come at a costing to Wade.

McGowan was also shooting from the hip on Thursday, channeling an earnest sheriff pledging to clean up his town when he threatened to sack the City of Perth Council should he become Premier.

He said he would “use all stops to deal with what we regard as serious matters of probity at the City of Perth”.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, our Teflon-coated Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi fired a six-gun of her own.

“I would like to know what reasons he has for sacking the whole City of Perth Council,” she said, accusing the opposition leader of making “a political statement”.

“There are no grounds to conflate my issue with the entirety of the Council.”

And while most pollsters predict Colin Barnett is on the road to political nowhere, it’ll at least be scenic.

The Premier wants to build an 850km road from Balladonia to Walpole, through some of the most spectacular coastline in the State.

The road, to be named the Southern Ocean Drive, would rival Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

It sounds like the sort of road trip retirees love.