Scott Morrison – Scott Morrison booing at football shows voters tired of ‘patronising’ WA visits, Colin Barnett says
Former WA Liberal premier Colin Barnett says he is not surprised Prime Minister Scott Morrison copped loud boos at an AFL match at Perth Stadium during his visit to WA last week.
- Loud booing broke out when Scott Morrison appeared on a big screen
- Colin Barnett says WA voters are “tired” of their treatment by prime ministers
- He also thinks WA has lost significance and is worried about its future
Mr Morrison visited cyclone-ravaged Kalbarri, met with Premier Mark McGowan and caught up with Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest during his visit to WA last week.
It was his first trip to the state since 2019, and he used the opportunity to remind West Australians that he had secured WA’s increased GST share, promising he would not allow it to be unwound.
The Prime Minister also attended a West Coast Eagles game against Collingwood on Friday, where loud booing broke out across Perth Stadium when he was shown on the big screen.
Speaking at a Curtin University panel discussion on democracy and good governance this morning, Mr Barnett, who was premier from 2008 until 2017, said he was not surprised by the crowd’s reaction.
“I think West Australians are a little bit tired of prime ministers over the years, both Liberal and Labor, who come over here, have a photo taken with a billionaire, go to a mine site, go to a sporting event, do a fundraising dinner and fly back, and think they have covered Western Australia,” he said.
“That has been going on for years, and we saw a repeat of that from Scott [Morrison].”
After the panel discussion, Mr Barnett said he thought it came across as “patronising”.
“It shows a sort of lack of recognition and appreciation for WA,” he said.
WA ‘has lost profile’: Barnett
Mr Barnett said his comments were not a criticism of Mr Morrison, but of the general treatment of WA by successive prime ministers and the eastern states generally.
He said he believed WA had lost significance nationally and internationally.
“My greatest concern is that Western Australia is vulnerable for a number of reasons, despite its prosperity,” he said.
“The state has lost profile in Australia and the state has definitely lost profile internationally.
“And you can’t put all of that down to COVID.”
Mr Barnett also spoke about his fears for the new WA Parliament, which will be dominated by Labor in both houses.
“The Parliament will be basically dysfunctional,” he said.
“I think the Labor government will find it difficult.
“I think big business is going take advantage of it, I think the Commonwealth government will take advantage of it, and Western Australia will lose some its ability to determine its own future.”