The Hon. David Littleproud, Leader of The Nationals, Media Release, 20 February 2023
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud is calling for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to urgently visit the Western Australian town of Carnarvon while he is in the state this week.
Mr Littleproud said the Prime Minister should spend a night in Carnarvon, rather than holding a $1,500 a head fundraiser in Perth to appreciate what’s needed in this community and others across regional WA.
Mr Littleproud is currently meeting with civic leaders in the remote Gascoyne community and said it was disappointing the Prime Minister was refusing to visit, despite literally flying over the town on his way to hold a Federal Cabinet meeting in Port Hedland.
“The Prime Minister needs to show real leadership and accept the invitation of the Carnarvon Shire Council and other regional WA Councils to visit as a priority, to see first-hand the problems on the ground,” Mr Littleproud said.
“These towns needs help, support and government intervention and I urge the Prime Minister to make a small and easy detour while in Western Australia.”
After touching down in Carnarvon on Sunday night, Mr Littleproud saw first-hand a spate of break-ins inflicted on local businesses.
“It’s heartbreaking to witness what this town is going through, because Carnarvon has incredible potential.”
Carnarvon Shire Council has proposed a comprehensive plan of action, which involves state and federal intervention to address the crime wave. The plan includes establishing a youth safe house along with evidence-based support programs for families in crisis.
Mr Littleproud said the Carnarvon Shire Council was also calling for practical measures such as the introduction of the cashless debit card, to tackle rampant alcohol-fuelled violence and dysfunction.
“This comes just as the Federal Labor Government has removed the cashless debit card out of vulnerable WA communities, which has led to a surge in violence and crime.”
North West Central MP Merome ‘Mem’ Beard said the most important issue facing Western Australia regions was youth crime, along with the dysfunction and neglect of children and the need for communities to feel protected and safe.
“Our town has been torn apart by Labor’s inaction and lack of urgency at responding to the local calls for help,” Ms Beard said.
“The Nationals will continue to fight for real and better outcomes in towns like Carnarvon.
“We need the State Labor Government to review service gaps across all the groups in Carnarvon and return senior regional managers back to town – dealing with issues from hundreds of kilometres away is just not effective.
“We’ve been calling for the establishment of a safe space for children who are roaming the streets at night, particularly between 11pm and 7am.
“Last week in Parliament I asked the Premier if he would take the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister or National Cabinet when in Port Hedland this week if the $250 million recently announced for the Northern Territory would also be committed to WA to address the youth crime issues. The Premier has provided no response. ”