Labor candidate for Perth John Carey blasts Government’s ‘uninspiring’ budget


City of Vincent Mayor and Labor candidate for Perth John Carey.
City of Vincent Mayor and Labor candidate for Perth John Carey.

THE STATE Budget has “made history for all the wrong reasons”, Labor candidate for Perth John Carey says.

Mr Carey, who is the Mayor of Vincent, told the Guardian Express he was particularly concerned by the 6 per cent cut to WA’s schools capital works program.

“Enrollments are rising, we will have 4000 more kids in WA schools next year and they’ve reduced the funding for capital works,” he said.

“I am also worried about cuts to TAFE.”

Mr Carey hopes to reclaim Perth for Labor, which was won by the Liberal Party’s Eleni Evangel in 2013 after being a Labor, or Labor-turned-independent, seat since 1968.

Ms Evangel said the Budget included a 3.3 per cent increase in general spending on schools, and Perth in particular had benefitted.

“(There’s) $5.4 million for a new two-storey extension for Highgate Primary School, and $2 million put aside in the Budget to purchase the land adjacent to Highgate to provide much needed space for our inner-city primary school. Mt Hawthorn, North Perth and Kyilla are all recipients of upgrades,” she said.

Mr Carey said the Barnett Budget included “the State’s record debt and record deficit”, but “no plan for dealing with traffic congestion in the inner city and northern suburbs, and no plan for jobs after the end of the mining boom… it’s an uninspiring Budget”.

Ms Evangel said additional money had been put into tourism, science and innovation, and agriculture to increase economic diversity in the wake of the end of the mining boom.

She welcomed some new measures on public transport but expressed disappointment that a “substantial commitment to northern corridor rail” had been pushed back to 2019-20 in the forward estimates, adding that the State Government’s efforts were hampered by an “abysmal” and “disgraceful” GST share from Canberra.