Liberals and National parties to form government in Western Australia

The Labor Party’s stranglehold over state and federal politics has been broken with the WA Nationals and Liberals agreeing to form a minority government.

The Labor Party’s stranglehold over state and federal politics has been broken with the WA Nationals and Liberals agreeing to form a minority government.

Liberal leader Colin Barnett will be sworn in as West Australia’s 29th premier this week, after forming a minority government with the Nationals.

Labor has formed government in every state and territory since 2002, when the Liberals lost in South Australia. It is the first time since 1997 the Liberals have won a state election.

WA Labor leader and former premier Alan Carpenter has resigned his office.

WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls announced the alliance at a press conference, but warned he was just as eager to vote for Labor and the decision was not unanimous.

“We’re not prepared to go into a traditional coalition,” Grylls says. “We’ll be accepting ministries based on being independent ministers that reserve the right to exempt ourselves from cabinet and vote against an issue on the floor of the Parliament if it’s against the wishes of the people we represent.”

Barnett says the win is a step forward for Australian democracy, arguing Labor had too much power holding the balance of power in every state.

“It’s a good thing for WA and it’s a good thing for Australia that there’s at least one Liberal government,” he says.

Former premier Alan Carpenter says he is disappointed with the results, and he wishes he had more time in office.

“Such is the nature of politics and life. You don’t always get what you want,” he says, but emphasised his trust in the new government.

“The state is in good shape. No incoming government has inherited a stronger economy, a better set of circumstances, or a state better positioned for future success,” he says.

The Liberal win gives hope to businesses, with Barnett last month offering $250 million in payroll tax cuts, along with stamp duty and land tax relief.

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