15 Aug 2013

WA premier walks out of parliament

6:10 am on 15 August 2013

WA Premier Colin Barnett walked out of the state parliamentary chamber when a backbencher took the party to task over the 2013/14 budget.

Liberal backbencher Rob Johnson - who has dropped as police minister in a cabinet reshuffle in June 2012 - was on Wednesday highly critical of the budget which handed down last week.

Mr Johnson said the Liberals had made promises before the poll that it either knew, or should have known it could not afford to keep.

In light of mounting debt, he suggested the government rethink a $A2 billion airport rail link project and suggested a public debate be held on what public transport infrastructure the state truly needed and could afford.

AAP reprots it was the second time in three days he had publicly lambasted his own party.

On Monday, he was critical on talkback radio of a plan by the state government to halve a tariff rate for households that feed surplus solar power to the grid. The plan was later reversed amid a strong public backlash, prompting an apology from Mr Barnett.

The premier walked out of the chamber when Mr Johnson began speaking on Wednesday, but returned later.