Bill Shorten claims it is “amazing” that the Federal Liberal Party has chosen to not field candidates for two by-elections in Perth, following the exit of former federal parliamentarians Tim Hammond and Josh Wilson.
Speaking in Perth on Thursday, the federal opposition leader said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had something to hide by not fielding candidates for the federal seats of Perth and Fremantle.
“They’re not even fronting up in two by-elections in Western Australia,” Mr Shorten said.
“Obviously I want Labor to win them, but the fact that Mr Turnbull has already given up running a candidate into Patrick Gorman speaks volumes.”
He said he believed the Prime Minister was trying to draw attention away from Federal Government promises it may not keep.
“The question Mr Turnbull has to answer is, is he not running candidates in Fremantle and Perth because he knows that his promises on GST here, he’s not going to keep on the east coast.”
“What is Mr Turnbull hiding when he doesn’t want to submit his governing party to the verdict of the Australian people.”
It comes as Labor candidate for the seat of Perth Patrick Gorman was endorsed by Labor earlier this month, following Tim Hammond’s resignation for family reasons.
“I’m running as Labor’s candidate in this by-election because I want to deliver a fair go for WA and a fair go for Perth,” Mr Gorman said.
“A vote for Labor at this election, is a vote for tax cuts for low and middle income Western Australians.”
The seat of Fremantle has been left vacant by Fremantle Member of the House of Representatives Josh Wilson.
Mr Wilson is one of five federal Labor sitting members who has been forced to resign and re-contest his seat as part of the citizenship debacle that has crippled federal parliament.
Mr Gorman said the federal government had been a disappointment for Western Australians.
“Malcolm Turnbull on the other hand has let down Western Australians,” he said.
“He’s let us down on school funding, he’s let us down on the NBN and Malcolm Turnbull has let down Western Australians when it comes to the GST.”