Howard’s flying visit

Howard’s flying visit

Former prime minister John Howard was asked questions about the Liberal Party's preference deal with One Nation. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

A flurry of excitement rippled through Livingston Shopping Centre last Friday afternoon when former prime minister John Howard made an appearance.

Mr Howard was joined by Member for Southern River Peter Abetz and Minister for Emergency Services Joe Francis who are both on the campaign trail in the lead up to the state election on March 11.

Mr Abetz said Mr Howard’s visit was exciting and he appreciated his support.

“People were so positive towards him,” he said.

“It was a real privilege to have the former prime minister meet with the local shoppers and business owners.”

Mr Howard was comfortable and at ease as he shook hands and spoke to shoppers.

He chatted to a Langford Islamic College student about sport, spoke to owners of small businesses, visited the pharmacy and answered questions regarding the upcoming election.

Mr Howard said the controversial preference deal between the Liberal Party and One Nation was a sensible and pragmatic solution.

“If I’d been in Colin Barnett’s shoes I’d have done the same thing,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean I agree with many of the One Nation policies but you have to make decisions and I think the WA Liberal Party have been sensible.”

Mr Howard does not believe the preference deal will turn West Australians against the Liberal Party and said the Greens were the only extremist party in Australian politics.

Mr Howard ended his visit with a coffee at Muffin Break and said his visit was very nice.

Labor candidate for Southern River Terry Healy said it was great Mr Howard visited the shopping centre but noted the absence of Premier Colin Barnett.

“You won’t see Colin Barnett this side,” he said.

“He’s not allowed here.”

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