WA’s opposition says the Liberals made a desperate preferences deal with One Nation, Pauline Hanson has labelled Labor liars and the premier believes no-one takes her seriously anyway.
Colin Barnett may try to play down Senator Hanson’s importance, but she’s having a serious impact on the state election campaign with less than a week to go.
Polls make Labor the favourites to win the election but it’s likely to be a tight contest and leader Mark McGowan said the Liberals had entered into a “desperate deal” with One Nation for preferences to boost their chances.
“A vote for One Nation is a vote for the Liberal party and their plans to sell off Western Power, and a vote for the Liberal party is a vote for One Nation,” he told reporters.
But Senator Hanson, who was visiting Mandurah and Rockingham shopping centres, said the deal aimed to secure One Nation seats in the upper house.
“Labor are putting out a scare campaign,” she told reporters.
“Labor have put One Nation last on all the how-to-vote cards, so Labor’s preferences will flow to the Libs before One Nation.
“They are liars. They are cheats. They are deceitful and they will do anything that they possibly can.”
Mr Barnett also tried to downplay the political relationship with One Nation, saying the deal was struck only to maximise the Liberal result.
“I support the decision that the Liberal Party made, but it’s not a decision that I have any involvement in … I’ve got no relationship with One Nation at all,” he said.
Mr Barnett also distanced himself from Senator Hanson’s comments in which she questioned the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations and praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin, saying he had never met her.
“I do not take Pauline Hanson’s comments seriously, and can I tell you the vast, vast majority of West Australians don’t either,” Mr Barnett said.
Senator Hanson clarified her comments, saying her stance on vaccinations was her personal opinion and encouraged people to seek medical advice.
“I’m not saying to people don’t get your children vaccinated,” she told 6PR radio.
Regarding Mr Putin, she said she respected him and US President Donald Trump for standing up for their respective countries.
Senator Hanson said she was not judging the Russian leader over the downing of MH17 because she did not know the truth.
Mr McGowan spent Monday reiterating Labor’s promise not to sell Western Power if elected on Saturday, saying the debt and deficit created by the Barnett government could not be fixed overnight.