Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commends Mark McGowan in whirlwind WA visit

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vistied Kings Park this morning where he was met by Patrick Gorman and other members of the Labor Party. Michael Wilson
Camera IconThe Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vistied Kings Park this morning where he was met by Patrick Gorman and other members of the Labor Party. Michael Wilson Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Anthony Albanese has thanked West Australians for their “sacrifice” during the pandemic as he recommitted to visiting WA 10 times a year as Prime Minister.

Mr Albanese held a press conference at Kings Park on Sunday morning with WA’s contingent of Federal MPs, who were crucial to Labor forming a majority government.

The PM had a private dinner with Premier Mark McGowan and WA Education Minister Sue Ellery on Saturday night after arriving in Perth for a brief stop before his three-day diplomatic visit to Indonesia.

“It is great to be here in Western Australia, on the Western Australia Day long weekend. Last night I was able to catch up with Premier Mark McGowan. A good friend of mine for a long period of time, and we had a very enjoyable dinner,” Mr Albanese said.

“We discussed issues of concern to Western Australia in the lead up to the meeting that I’ll hold at the end of next week with the National Cabinet which will meet in Canberra.

“This is my fifth visit to Western Australia this year, which isn’t bad given that I wasn’t able to come for half of this year.

“But I made a commitment as leader of the Labor Party that I would come to Western Australia 10 times a year and I repeat that commitment as Prime Minister.

“That I will endeavour to be a regular visitor here, not just somebody who drops in when there’s an election campaign, but spends time here because I want to be the Prime Minister for the entire country.”

Mr Albanese later attended a celebratory barbecue at Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth to thank WA Labor’s volunteers, who the PM dubbed the “true believers”.

“They argued the case for change and Australians voted for change at the election on May 21 and change is what they’re getting,” he added.

“There is a new government in town in Canberra — a new government governing for all Australians, whether they voted Labor this time or whether we’ll seek to get their vote next time around.

“I am determined to govern for all Australians and to make sure that we end the conflict, that we lower the temperature whereby everything the former government did — and I’ve seen some of it through the briefings I’ve had already as prime minister — everything was always about the politics.

“I want it to be about the national interest, not short-term political interest.”

Paws for thought.
Camera IconPaws for thought. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Mr Albanese confirmed he would soon announce dates for a meeting of Federal Cabinet in Perth, as well as a second meeting in Port Hedland within his first 12 months in power.

“I want to make sure that we continue to engage with Western Australians. I always enjoy my time here,” he continued.

“It’s an important part of the nation and indeed during the pandemic, the success of Western Australia in keeping our economy going was absolutely vital during that period.

“So I say to Mark McGowan and his government, but more importantly to the people of Western Australia, we appreciate the sacrifice that you made during that difficult time in order to keep each other safe, but also it had benefits for our national economy.”

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