Nats attack Pilbara MP over axed projects

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Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.
Camera IconPilbara MLA Kevin Michel. Credit: Countryman, Tom Zaunmayr.

The WA Nationals have accused Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel of not standing up for the region as projects promised for the Pilbara under the previous government fall by the wayside.

A freedom of information application by the WA Nationals found Mr Michel had made no correspondence with the regional development minister’s office regarding $80 million worth of projects axed in the Pilbara by the State Government.

North West Central MP Vince Catania said the lack of protest from Mr Michel about the cuts was concerning.

“Mr Michel should be screaming blue murder about these important projects which the minister has ripped away from the Pilbara. Instead he just sits quietly and does what he is told,” he said.

“Pilbara people need a champion in Parliament, not a lackey who is making up the numbers.”

Mr Michel said there was no onus on the State Government to follow through with the previous government’s election promises.

“They did what they had to do, they had their plan, and now we are in power,” he said.

“Based on our budget and based on what we have to do, we are carrying out quite a lot. What do they want? Leave the deficit as it is?”

Mr Michel said the Pilbara needed to look beyond the “build it and they will come” mentality.

Projects either axed or put on the backburner included city centre infrastructure in Karratha and the Newman Health Service and Tom Price Hospital redevelopments.

The Government has instead put money into projects such as sealing the Karratha to Tom Price Road and employing more Aboriginal rangers.

WA Nationals deputy leader Jacqui Boydell said regional WA had become an afterthought for the State Government.

“Essentially what this shows is that the Pilbara will be put on the backburner by the McGowan Government until just before the 2021 election when no doubt they will try to buy back some votes with a few empty promises,” Ms Boydell said.

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