State Election 2017: Barnett tips tight poll, backs economic plan

Premier Colin Barnett. Photo: Jon Bassett
Premier Colin Barnett. Photo: Jon Bassett

PREMIER Colin Barnett said the Coalition’s plan to stabilise the WA economy is working and declared Labor had no such plan at Wednesday’s campaign launch.

Treasurer Mike Nahan’s May budget showed the worst deficit – $3.9 billion – in State history, with debt to climb past $40 billion.

But the coalition has flagged the selling of state assets like Western Power to arrest the slide, and Mr Barnett said Labor had “no plan” to fix things.

“This Government has invested in the economy, in health, in education, in transport, in power and water,” Mr Barnett said.

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“Because of the financial constraints we have had to borrow money to pay for that investment.

“Managing state finances is always going to be difficult.

“There is a plan. The Labor party have no plan.”

And Mr Barnett, whose government is tipped to suffer heavy losses in the March 11 poll, conceded the election would be a close run thing.

“The gap is narrowing,” he said.

“There are a number of unpredictable seats.

“I can’t call it.”