A year ago today, West Australians delivered Anthony Albanese majority government in Canberra. A question to ponder while you have your Sunday coffee: If an election were held today, would WA still go Albo? I suggest the answer is yes, based on two factors. First, new governments generally always get a honeymoon period during the first few years. Second, the Federal Liberals haven’t really changed that much since Scott Morrison was head of the party and the Coalition. New Liberal leader Peter Dutton isn’t cutting it with the public: a Painted Dog Research poll of 1409 voters showed just one in six West Australians is satisfied with the job he is doing. But there is trouble on the horizon for the Albanese Government, with the cost-of-living crisis still the No.1 issue facing many West Australians. And it’s a crisis with the potential to get worse. As I report in today’s The Sunday Times, new mortgage figures obtained by WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith — after questions to Federal Finance Minister Katy Gallagher — show that by the end of next year, 84 per cent of all West Aussies with a fixed-rate home loan will be switched to a variable home loan. That means that hundreds of thousands of West Australians will end up paying thousands more a year in home loan repayments ($16,000 more in repayments based on a $586,000 loan). I’m not sure that Mark McGowan’s $400 power credit, or the joint Federal-State power bill rebate of $826 for anyone with a Commonwealth card, will make anyone facing a $16,000 mortgage hike feel better about life. Dean Smith calls this a financial tsunami. And guess when the tsunami hits? The full brunt is expected by the end of next year — potentially five months out from the next Federal election and just three months before the WA election. If you think cost of living was an issue at the 2022 Federal election, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Wait until the 2025 Federal and State polls. In his speech in Perth on Thursday, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers — who The West Australian this week depicted as Toy Story’s Sheriff Woody Pride and McGowan as Buzz Lightyear (I reckon McGowan wanted to be Woody) talked up his Government’s cost-of-living relief. “Around 1,650,000 West Australians will benefit from free consultations at their GP,” Chalmers claimed. “And around 620,000 will get access to cheaper medicines. “And 498,000 of your households will be eligible for the joint relief that we’re delivering to reduce energy bills. “And 79,000 will benefit from the largest increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance in 30 years.” These are grand assumptions (good luck getting GPs who no longer bulk bill to start doing so) and cold comfort for West Australians now facing a 12th interest-rate rise. According to the minutes of the May 2 RBA board meeting, 11 rate rises since May last year isn’t the end of the story. At the last Federal election, the Albanese-led Labor Party picked up the Liberal-held seats of Pearce, Hasluck, Swan and Tangney. And it hung on to Cowan. I’d imagine that in the mortgage belt seats of Pearce, Swan, Hasluck and Cowan, many families would be doing it extremely tough right now. But the RBA sets the cash rate, right? Remember, though, that Albanese went to the election in 2022 promising a new, better tomorrow. As was expected, Woody Chalmers also assured West Australians on Thursday that the 70 cent GST floor would stay amid noises from the Eastern States’ whingers that the deal needs to be reviewed. Well, McGowan has just allocated $1.6 million to employ three more Treasury boffins to make sure WA keeps its loot. Doesn’t sound like McGowan is quite swallowing the orange cordial.