Julie Bishop’s campaign launch brings Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Colin Barnett together at last

Julie Bishop’s campaign launch brings Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Colin Barnett together at last
Julie Bishop’s campaign launch brings Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Colin Barnett together at last
Julie Bishop’s campaign launch brings Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Colin Barnett together at last
Julie Bishop’s campaign launch brings Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Colin Barnett together at last

PERTH Freight Link (PFL) demonstrators were the only sign of disgruntlement when Curtin MHR Julie Bishop’s Federal Election campaign launch finally brought Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and WA Premier Colin Barnett together at the Cottesloe Beach Hotel last night.

Critics of the link say Canberra’s $1.2 billion contribution to the proposed $1.9b truck toll road from the west end of Roe Highway to East Fremantle is wasted money, especially as a new port at Kwinana had instead been planned for about 30 years.

“You know it’s a WA Government-sponsored project?” Mr Turnbull said, when asked by the Community Newspaper Group what would it take the Federal Government to review its support for the contentious road.

“Well, it’s a project where the proponent is the Government of WA, and we’re supporting that,” Mr Turnbull said after being reminded of his Government’s contribution.

The Federal Opposition does not support the PFL, and has promised $1 billion would instead go to State Labor’s Metronet public transport plan for Perth.

This morning on radio, Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten said Mr Barnett should not sign any PFL contracts before the March 2017 State election, and if he were to be elected Prime Minister on July 2 he would work with Mr Barnett to redirect the money.

At the launch, attended by staunch supporters of the Liberal Party, Mr Turnbull praised Mr Barnett, whose State Government’s apparent decline in opinion polls has been linked to his noticeable absence from Federal Election campaigning in WA.

“This State has been so well led because it is transitioning successfully,” Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Barnett thanked Ms Bishop, the party’s deputy-leader, and took the opportunity to thank her for her response as Foreign Minister to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

“You led Australia’s response, and you led the world’s outrage,” Mr Barnett said.