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Barnett ‘has to own train wreck’

Some of the State’s leading business people have launched an extraordinary attack on Colin Barnett, claiming he has to “own the train wreck” of the Liberals’ landslide loss.

John Poynton said several business leaders warned of the impending defeat through a ReachTEL poll they funded in August, which signalled Labor would easily win the 10 seats needed to govern.

Mr Poynton said he and several other business people withdrew their Liberal Party donations after the Premier accused them of disloyalty and referred the issue to the Public Sector Commissioner.

“He did not take any notice of that (poll) but, worse, accused people of conspiracies and disloyalty when basically we were trying to do the party a favour,” Mr Poynton said. “There is not a lot of point in saying I told you so or being anything other than disappointed.”

Mr Poynton accused Mr Barnett of running a “one-person cabinet and a one-person government”. He also claimed Mr Barnett made policy on the run, did not take advice and wasted billions of dollars.

“Colin owns the train wreck because he has run the show in every respect,” he said.

Developer Nigel Satterley, who helped to fund the Reach-TEL poll, said Mr Barnett ignored industries outside the oil and gas sector.

He accused Mr Barnett of failing to promote other important sectors such as international education and tourism.

“He has taken Perth from a one-trick pony to a one-horse town,” Mr Satterley said. “He hasn’t listened, has a wooden ear and a glass jaw.”

Builder Dale Alcock said the “colossal loss” reflected public dissatisfaction.

He said he once had a good relationship with Mr Barnett but in recent years was given the cold shoulder along with most of the business community.

“You would see rapport and relationships that had existed that were simply treated with absolute contempt,” Mr Alcock said. “It really was quite bizarre.

“The sentiment of the public was that the Government had lost connection, but when a Liberal Party loses connection with a big part of the business community then your future is not too strong.”

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