News State Western Australia News Dean Nalder flags possible WA leadership challenge

Dean Nalder flags possible WA leadership challenge

Former WA minister Dean Nalder says he will stand against Colin Barnett. Photo: AAP
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West Australian Liberal MP Dean Nalder will nominate for the party’s leadership if a spill motion is put forward at a party room meeting on Tuesday.

The ABC understands one of Mr Nalder’s colleagues is likely to put forward a spill motion on his behalf.

Mr Nalder said he had not done the numbers on how many MPs would support him but he wanted the leadership and was ready to stand for it.

“The party room is the place where we scrutinise our decisions as a government,” he said.

“And if the party room does put a spill motion on Tuesday, I will nominate for the position of leader.”

The first-term MP said he first considered the leadership earlier this year when Premier Colin Barnett told him that if the polls continued to go backwards he would look to step down.

“I was approached, I said, ‘Look, if the Premier was to move aside it is something I would consider’,” Mr Nalder said.

“From there, the jungle drums started going everywhere. I’m at a position where I can’t continue any further with the current leadership.”

Attempt to meet Premier ‘unsuccessful’

Mr Nalder said there had been a number of changes in policy directed that affected his portfolio and he was not consulted on.

“I just feel that I’ve been compromised in what I’m trying to work [on],” he said.

“There’s no conversation, there’s no consultation with myself or through cabinet regarding some of these issues.”

The Opposition says Premier Barnett is discussing increasing gaming machines.
Colin Barnett is facing a leadership challenge.

He said he had unsuccessfully tried to meet with the Premier for weeks to discuss several large infrastructure projects and the taxi industry reform bill, which he thought the Government was not bringing through fast enough.

Earlier on Sunday, former government minister Helen Morton accused staff in the Premier’s office of bullying, intimidating and demoralising ministers, but would not name those responsible.

She said both Mr Nalder and Mr Simpson, who both quit cabinet in the past two days over Mr Barnett’s leadership, had been subject to threats from the Premier’s office.

Referring to those allegations, Mr Nalder said he had expressed to Mr Barnett “my concerns as to the lack of respect afforded to ministers by his office”.