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Barnett squeezed from all sides

Colin Barnett is in for his biggest test as premier in 2015, as mounting financial woes threaten to drain his political capital.

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Mt Lawley
Yes, Peter, the proposed City of Perth Act will be watershed moment in WA politics. As things stand, the Bill won't get through the Legislative Council, as Labor, the Greens and the Nationals have all said they will not support it - but Barnett has said he will use 'power of persuasion' (aka bullying) so who knows what pressure he will bring to bear on the Nationals. The Nationals need to stick to their guns here. Democracy is a statewide issue, not a just a metropolitan one. If the Nationals do not at least vote down the gerrymander/vote-weighting provision, they will be derelict in their duty as State parliamentarians as well as local members. The proposed Act is not so much about boundaries as it is about democracy. The proposed gerrymander or vote weighting to make sure that, in Barnett's words, 'the residents don't control the Business District' is an outrageous affront to democracy and, one would suggest it means they haven't got the boundaries right in the first place. If we take, as a principle, that residents shouldn't control the CBD, the current boundaries of the City look about right.

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