Gascoyne Minister Tom Stephens has expressed surprise and disappointment at Liberal MLC Phil Lockyer's criticism of the proposed Gascoyne Development Commission.
Mr Stephens said the criticism was surprising because the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly had backed the establishment of a Pilbara Development Commission.
As well, the setting up of regional development authorities was National Party policy.
"I can only assume that Mr Lockyer is unaware of the NP's policy on regional development - which does not augur well for a stable coalition between the two Opposition parties," Mr Stephens said.
"The NP policy states, and I quote, 'We will divide the entire State into regional development areas ... (and) establish a regional development council for each of the areas.'
"It is disappointing that Mr Lockyer takes such a negative attitude to the Gascoyne Development Commission. He should realise that in the current economic climate, it is energy, enthusiasm and forward-thinking that will effect change and improve the situation.
"The State Government is committed to promoting the economic and social development of the vast Gascoyne region.
"It is considered essential that development programs and future planning is administered by the Commission and aimed at a regional level to ensure benefits to all municipalities.
"The Board of the Commission will comprise competent and skilled local people who want to set and achieve goals for the Gascoyne.
"I believe Mr Lockyer's carping comments show he is out of step with his electors as well as his NP coalition partner.
"He would do better to encourage people with abilities to become board members of the Gascoyne Development Commission and work with the Government to help the region fulfil its huge potential."