Mark McGowan accuses Federal Liberal candidates of ‘lifting’ WA Labor policy for Henderson floating dock


Civmec general manager Michael Deeks, Liberal candidate for Fremantle Pierrette Kelly, Liberal candidate for Brand Craig Buchanan, Civmec executive chairman James Fitzgerald and Senator Michaelia Cash on a visit to the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson last month.
Civmec general manager Michael Deeks, Liberal candidate for Fremantle Pierrette Kelly, Liberal candidate for Brand Craig Buchanan, Civmec executive chairman James Fitzgerald and Senator Michaelia Cash on a visit to the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson last month.

FEDERAL Liberal candidates appear to have taken a leaf out of State Opposition and Labor Leader Mark McGowan’s book, saying they will lobby for funding of Stage 2 of the floating dock at Henderson.

After visiting the Australian Marine Complex in late May, Liberal candidates Craig Buchanan (Brand) and Pierrette Kelly (Fremantle) said they would seek funding for the second stage of the project.

However, about a month earlier Mr McGowan had promised State Labor would do the same as part of WA Labor’s Plan for Jobs.

“It’s great that the Liberals have finally woken up to the need to fund the extension of the floating dock,” he said.

“They have lifted this announcement directly from WA Labor’s Plan for Jobs, which was released back in April. Cockburn MLA Fran Logan has been advocating for it for even longer.”

Mr McGowan said he was disappointed at the Liberal’s lack of vision.

“This is another copycat announcement from the Liberals, who have repeatedly been too lazy and disengaged to come up with their own policies to create jobs for West Australians.

“It’s disappointing that, up until now, State and Federal Liberals have failed to see the need for this facility. They’ve simply run out of ideas.”

Mr Buchanan returned fire, saying Mr McGowan was the reason he and Ms Kelly made the promise.

“Given the ineffectiveness of Mark McGowan’s efforts in lobbying the Federal Government, I saw a need to get the job done properly,” Mr Buchanan said.

“I would be interested to see what work Mr McGowan has done to lobby for the second floating dock since making his announcement; my guess is zero.

“The fact is Labor has under-represented the people of Brand at a State and Federal level for years now; the local community has suffered as a result, and has been taken for granted by people like Mark McGowan for far too long.”

Ms Kelly also had Mr McGowan in her sights, calling him a ‘whinger’ and saying he had the Liberal Party to thank for bringing naval ship building contracts to WA.

“For Mark McGowan to whinge and moan about someone trying to achieve good things for the local community is unbecoming of him as a leader,” she said.

“On the other hand, I will fight for my local community and will not be bullied by people like the Labor leader.

“The Liberal Government has brought jobs to the area by bringing naval shipbuilding contracts to WA; something Labor never achieved.”

The floating dock was a product of the Labor-led Carpenter State Government in July 2007.

Mr Logan was part of the government that built the dock.

He called for the Federal Liberal candidates to commit to funding it and building it in WA with WA steel.

He said the State opposition had been discussing options with Federal Labor concerning the dock before dubbing the Federal Liberals “Johnny-come-latelys”.

“The second stage of the dry dock is of strategic interest to the west coast… it’s critical,” he said.

“It’s nice to see them on board at last; however what we want is a commitment for funds, not a campaign.”

Labor candidate for Brand Madeleine King echoed her State counterparts, saying she was happy to see the opposition on board but disappointed it took so long.

“It is pleasing that the Liberal candidates are supporting a proposal which has been on Labor’s agenda for many months,” she said.

“However, it shows that it takes an election campaign for the Liberals to give any thought to what might be important to the electorate.”