The State Liberals are calling on the Speaker of the House of Assembly Michael Atkinson to reverse his outrageous decision to hold by-elections in the state seats of Davenport and Fisher on different days.
“The Speaker has been caught playing party politics with his decision to hold the two elections on separate weekends and needs to put the interests of the electors before the interests of the Labor Party,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“It is extraordinary that a Labor Government wallowing in record levels of debt would support wasting time and money running two by-elections in neighbouring seats on different weekends.
“It’s outrageous that Mr Atkinson and the Labor Party would ignore the advice of the Independent Electoral Commissioner that the best option is holding the two by-elections on the same day.
“It’s only happening because Mr Atkinson believes the Labor Party will receive an electoral advantage and consequently has no hesitation in wasting taxpayers’ time and money.
“Initially the Speaker claimed he was acting on the advice of the Independent Electoral Commissioner Kay Mousley when announcing the Fisher and Davenport by-elections would be held on separate weekends.
“However, the Electoral Commissioner embarrassed Mr Atkinson and destroyed that excuse by stating it was her preference that the elections be held on the same day.
“Left exposed by the truth the Speaker then asserted it was his decision to make and he’d make any decision he liked.
“Whilst it is up to the Speaker to decide when the by-elections will be held he is required by convention to make an impartial decision.
“Indeed as Speaker Michael Atkinson has repeatedly asserted his independence and impartiality in the ruling he’s made.
“The Speaker’s blatant politicisation of the by-election dates for the seats of Fisher and Davenport makes a mockery of his proclaimed independence.
“Election dates should not be the plaything of the Labor Government and the Speaker needs to reverse his decision.”