Scott Morrison has set down a 48-hour period where he says an historic first-ever election debate can happen in Perth.
The Prime Minister told The West Australian he was happy to debate Bill Shorten on April 29 or 30 and was excited to get the opportunity to lay out his plan for the nation and West Australians.
It follows The West Australian last week getting commitments from both leaders to hold the first ever election debate in Perth.
It is understood Mr Morrison privately has a soft spot for WA and is keen to hold a debate in front of a Perth audience.
Mr Shorten is preparing to spend part of this week in Perth and maintains he also loves the West. He said he would be happy to debate Mr Morrison in Perth as early as this week but last night would not commit to Mr Morrison’s timings.
The Prime Minister said WA had a “strong economy that delivers tax relief for hard-working families and small businesses, vital road infrastructure and guaranteed record funding for health and education”.
He said it was the Coalition and him as treasurer who got WA a fairer deal on GST. “Our plan is also providing a fair GST deal for the West,” Mr Morrison said.
“This is something I promised to do and personally delivered.
“In contrast Bill Shorten and the Labor Party hedged their bets on the GST and even opposed changing the formula.
“They will also hit West Australians as part of their plan for more than $387 billion of taxes that would hurt retirees, slug our housing market and harm the WA economy, just as it is starting to get back on its feet.
“This debate will be a greatopportunity for Bill Shorten to finally come clean on his plan for higher taxes and what it will cost West Australians.”
Mr Shorten, who will hold a town hall event in Perth tomorrow, has maintained he sees the State as hugely important.
“I’m not waiting two more weeks to be in Perth. I’ll be there on Tuesday,” he said last night.
“I invite Mr Morrison to join me and take questions directly from the people of WA.”
Last week he said: “I’ve spent 75 days there as Opposition Leader ... you can’t understand the West if you’re never there.”
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann called on Mr Shorten to accept the Prime Minister’s dates for a WA debate.