January 6, 2014
Premier Lara Giddings turned what should have been a celebration of community goodwill and an example of government cooperation in to a partisan event to advantage the Labor Party.
The state government failed to invite any local Federal Government representatives to the reopening of the West Coast Wilderness Railway, snubbing a Commonwealth contribution of $6 million to the restoration.
"Let us not forget that the West Coast Wilderness Railway has long held bipartisan support," Senator Richard Colbeck said.
"It was funded by a Coalition Government as a bicentenary project with the support of Labor and it was opened by then Prime Minister John Howard and then Premier Jim Bacon."
Senator Colbeck said for the breach of protocol showed the desperation of Labor in the lead-up to the state election.
"It is disappointing for the reopening to occur without the involvement of Federal Government representatives despite the majority of the work being funded by the Commonwealth," he said.
While an invitation was extended to Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, no local representatives were invited to attend the reopening of the West Coast Wilderness Railway or participate in the official ceremony.