Mark McGowan v Peter Dutton: West Australians rally round Premier in stoush with outgoing Defence Minister

Staff WriterThe West Australian
Federal Liberal member for Dickson, Peter Dutton arrives at his election party.
Camera IconFederal Liberal member for Dickson, Peter Dutton arrives at his election party. Credit: News Corp Australia

Premier Mark McGowan has received an extraordinary outpouring of support from West Aussies for his brutal takedown Peter Dutton, describing the Liberal leader in waiting as a “pure danger” and “more dislikeable than ScoMo”.

Outgoing Minister for Defence Dutton is a short-priced favourite to assume the mantle of Liberal leader after their weekend election horror show, which saw them lose a poll for the first time since Labor formed a minority government in 2010.

Dutton, 51, has said he will put his name forward to take charge of the party and, with former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg losing his seat of Kooyong, he would be a clear favourite to get the job.

But the likely appointment of Dutton has drawn the ire of Mr McGowan, who launched an extraordinary attack on the Queenslander on Monday morning.

“He’s an extremist, I don’t think he fits with modern Australia at all,” Mr McGowan said.

“He doesn’t seem to listen and he’s extremely conservative.

“I actually don’t think he’s that smart.

“I’ve seen him present on things, I don’t really pick up that there is much there.”

And it seems Mr McGowan is not alone in his opinion of Mr Dutton, who held on to his seat of Dickson despite a three per cent swing to the ALP.

Plenty of readers of The West Australian are on board with the Premier’s take, and let him know in their comments.

“McGowan is right and the voting public clearly agree with him,” wrote Mark R.

“The only thing progressive about the Liberals is the death of the party.”

Bill D wrote: “Don’t like agreeing with Mark, but on Dutton I’m in total agreement. Why would Liberals choose someone one more dislikeable than ScoMo?”

Another commenter wrote Dutton would be “the greatest liability the Liberal part ever had”.

“Charisma nil, charm nil, personality nil, ideas for all Australians nil and voting appeal nil,” they wrote.

“The Liberal party broad church will be dead and I for one won’t be occupying a pew.”

Martin D wrote that Mr McGowan had “hit the nail on the head”, describing Dutton as a “pure danger”.

However it wasn’t all one-way traffic, with some commenters reminding Mr McGowan to get his own house in order before criticising other politicians.

“McGowan’s achievements include record ambulance ramping, homelessness and social housing are at crisis levels, healthcare is in a mess, the Labor government continues to add to the cost of living with increases in electricity, licensing and other government charges,” wrote Dino T.

“Mark I suggest you fix up what you have broken first before criticising others.

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