Federal Labor pledge to work towards WA interest

As WA relished in another Bill Shorten trip to the State with announcements aplenty, will all the election promises be enough to secure the swing votes Labor is expecting?

The Opposition’s latest trip to Perth saw the Labor double decker red bus take to the streets, in between multiple announcements of youth job opportunities and more.

Mr Shorten said if people vote for him, what you will get is a very pro-Western Australian Federal Government.

He also recognised that while WA Labor has been doing its job, the Federal coalition government has failed to pull their weight for the state.

Global politics and policy lecturer, Dr Ian Cook, said Shorten’s Perth trip was to boost Labor confidence in the swing votes they’re expecting in WA.

“Certainly WA tends to get forgotten in federal politics. We’re a long way from the centre of power and I think there is an extent to which they don’t really understand whats happening here and policy gets driven by eastern states interests,” he said.

There is also a sense that young people are an important demographic, and following the success of young voter engagement for the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite, you could then see the parties thinking about the possibility of all those votes in their favour.

However, Dr Cook, believes both major parties need to focus on connecting to young people in the lead up to the federal election.

“There is a real problem in both the major parties that is they’re not connecting to young people, Labor tries but there’s an extent to which they’re still full of old white men and it’s really hard for young people to feel connected to a party like that,”

While Labor is confident with their hold of WA, and the unfavourable coalition polls continue, questions remain over whether Scott Morrison will visit perth and show commitment towards supporting the State.

“I do expect Bill Shorten to be back here and if the polls are looking so clearly in their favour there’s going to be less pressure. But Federal Labor struggled for quite some time to be seen to be interested in WA…”

“Tony Abbott was able to paint Labor as not interested in WA, so there’s a lot of work to be done to convince Western Australians that they care,” commented Dr Cook.

He also commented on the difficulties that Scott Morrison had with Julie Bishop, saying it may not be as its best place.

“Having Scott Morrison over here might be an opportunity for people to talk about Julie Bishop and he may not want that. I’m expecting Morrison will come but I think they’re really struggling to hold onto VIC, NSW and QLD, they’ve got some bigger problems over east and they much more worried about that than they are about WA,” Dr Cook said.

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