The WA Nationals have unveiled plans to run candidates in Perth seats as the party seeks to “become a player in the city or risk falling into oblivion”, during a “respectful” meeting where the group also withdrew support for the Voice referendum. The country party held its annual State Conference in Perth on Saturday, where Nationals leader Shane Love also announced two major policies the Nationals plan to take to the 2025 election. Proclaiming the “very fabric of our WA life was under siege” by WA Labor, Mr Love revealed plans for a Private Property Rights Bill and special activation precincts to fast-track major industrial development in regional WA. The Property Rights Bill promise comes in the wake of the Cook Government’s aborted attempt to drastically overhaul Aboriginal heritage laws, which included imposing onerous new consultation requirements for major developments on any property larger than 1100sqm. Mr Love said the Bill sent a clear message the WA Nationals would “protect our regions”. He also revealed plans to create special agricultural precincts in country WA, modelled on similar set-ups in New South Wales. “This ground-breaking model will bring together strategic planning and targeted investment to supercharge job creation and economic growth for our regions to lead the nation,” Mr Love said. Each region would be subject to a master planning process – in consultation with industry and the local community – with Mr Love to pledge “significant (government) investments in crucial infrastructure” to facilitate development. Rank-and-file party members spent nearly 45 minutes discussing a motion that proposed the Voice backflip on the grounds the constitutional amendment as written was divisive and would “give one section of the community far greater access and influence than other sections of the community”. Emerging from what he described as a respectful debate, Opposition Leader Shane Love said his party had decided it did not “trust” the Voice model laid out by the Albanese Government would deliver “meaningful change”. He said the WA Nationals still backed the intent of the Voice and ensured there “was a way for Aboriginal people to communicate into the body politic their needs”. With a procession of recent polls finding support for the Voice waning across the nation — and the No case well ahead in WA — Mr Love rejected the suggestion that the backflip was politically motivated. A separate motion passed permitted individual MPs to campaign publicly on the Voice however they see fit. Former WA Nationals Leader Mia Davies — who has repeatedly put her support for the Voice on the public record — confirmed she remained locked into a Yes vote. Asked if the decision to seek candidates to run in Perth seats at the 2025 election was an admission a formal coalition with the Liberals was unlikely, Mr Love said the Nationals were “keeping all of our options on the table”. The motion – proposed by the Quairading branch – comes ahead of a complete overhaul of the Legislative Council and significant changes to Legislative Assembly boundaries that threaten to dramatically reduce the reach and representation of the country party. It called for the Nationals State executive “to identify priority seats in the Legislative Assembly to run candidates… including in selected metropolitan districts”. But the motion also argued for care to be exercised when selecting which Perth-based Assembly seats to contest, and stressed “some connection with the district would be important” for any prospective candidate. Running city-based candidates in the Lower House would enable the Nationals to boost their profile in Perth. The party hopes doing so would also translate to a bigger share of votes — and more seats — in the Legislative Council, which has been dramatically reshaped as a single Statewide electorate by the Cook Government. “I’m not saying we’re going to run in every metropolitan seat,” Mr Love said. “But where there is an issue or there is a synergy between our philosophy and our ability to represent a Perth community that wants to be involved with us, we’ll take that opportunity.” Earlier in August, the WA Nationals approached the Liberals with a formal proposal to enter into a coalition ahead of the 2025 election. Under the terms of that deal, the mantle of Opposition Leader would be transferred from Nationals leader Shane Love to Liberal Leader Libby Mettam. In exchange, the Nationals want every third spot on a joint ticket with the Liberals in the Legislative Council. The two parties would also agree on seats in which to avoid three-cornered contests in a bid to preserve resources.