Harvey puts health on her Albany radar

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
New state opposition leader Liza Harvey.
Camera IconNew state opposition leader Liza Harvey. Credit: Daniel Wilkins

New WA Opposition leader Liza Harvey says her party’s focus for the Great Southern in the 2021 State election will be improving health services.

Ms Harvey took over as WA Liberal Party leader from Dr Mike Nahan earlier this month and said she would be a “regular visitor” to Albany in the coming months.

“(The Party will) have a look at critical health issues,” she said.

“You’re still not getting treatment you need from a health perspective — that’s an area we’ll have a look at closer to the election.”

Criticisms of health services in regional WA have been raised several times in Parliament in recent months, including over a lack of palliative care services around Albany and a complaint no hospitals between Narrogin and Albany could deliver babies.

Ms Harvey, the Manjimup-born Member for Scarborough, was deputy Premier in the Barnett Government for more than a year until her party’s wipe-out election loss in 2017.

She pointed to the possible retirement of Albany MP Peter Watson as an opportunity for her party in 2021.

Mr Watson has been WA Labor’s Member for Albany since 2001.

“That (retirement would) create an opportunity, and there’s some very accomplished people who are looking for Liberal Party preselection,” she said.

“I can assure the people of Albany we will make sure to have a good quality, likeable Liberal candidate for them.”

Mr Watson has not announced plans to retire.

The 18-year MP said he was not surprised by Ms Harvey’s appointment as party leader.

However, he said Ms Harvey having no previous experience with an economic portfolio would “make it hard for her as leader”.

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