| 21.07,09. 01:43 PM |
Labor MP Vince Catania defects to Nationals
July 21, 2009 11:37AM
WEST Australian Opposition Leader Eric Ripper said a Labor MP who has defected to the Nationals was immature and petulant.
Labor MP for the North West, Vince Catania, resigned late yesterday to join the Nationals, who are in government with the Liberals.
Mr Ripper reacted angrily to Mr Catania's move, saying it was an act of betrayal.
"This is about Vince Catania's character and lack of principle," Mr Ripper said.
"What he has done is betray the people of the North West, those people voted for a Labor member.
"He's behaved as an immature and petulant young man, with a short-term solution, an easy ride in politics and hasn't had the ticker to defend a marginal seat."
Mr Catania said he had agonised about the decision and had decided to put his electorate first.
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He said the Nationals, led by Brendon Grylls, put actions into words with their Royalties for Regions program, which funneled money back into regional WA.
"I'm putting my electorate first and this is an opportunity for me to help shape regional WA with a fantastic program, Royalties for Regions," Mr Catania said.
"I think more politicians should perhaps look at their electorate first before their own way of which they can climb the ladder within their political party."
Mr Catania said that as a regional member in the Labor Party with a mainly city-based group of MPs he felt as if he were knocking his head against a brick wall.
Mr Grylls was to make an announcement on Mr Catania's move to the Nationals this morning.
Mr Ripper has called on him to explain what he promised Mr Catania in return for Mr Catania's support.