Liza Harvey speaks to the media outside Parliament House in Perth, Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Liza Harvey speaks to the media outside Parliament House in Perth, Thursday, June 13, 2019. AAP Image - Tony McDonough

Albo weighs in on Perth 'meth zombie' tiff

LABOR leader Anthony Albanese has criticised West Australian opposition chief Liza Harvey for blaming Perth's depressed retail sector on "meth zombies", saying it talks down the city.

As many businesses close their doors, Ms Harvey says families are discouraged from shopping in the CBD as it is "so full of people who act in unpredictable ways".

Announcing plans to visit WA at least 10 times a year in the lead up to the 2022 federal election, Mr Albanese took aim at Ms Harvey over the comments.

"I'll be talking up Perth and WA. It's a pity that the WA opposition leader seems to think its appropriate to talk Perth and WA down," he told reporters on Tuesday.

But he refused to be drawn on whether the Labor state government should help fund rehabilitation centres like Shalom House in the Swan Valley, which claims to be the nation's strictest and faces closure.

Three of Shalom House's four leased properties are for sale because the owner is experiencing financial difficulties, while the owner of the fourth has asked the private and self-funded centre, which is based on Christian principles, to vacate by January.

"I'm answering questions about federal issues," Mr Albanese said, despite raising Ms Harvey's comments.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt also weighed in on the controversy, tweeting: "For what it's worth, I am perfectly relaxed taking my two daughters into the Perth CBD. We do so regularly, and have fun doing so."


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