Mr McGowan wanted one debate managed by the media, one in a regional town and one in Perth where the public could ask questions about core issues including traffic congestion, employment and the cost of living.
"I think West Australians are dying for more information," he said.
Mr McGowan said it was important to allow the public to see the debates "unvarnished, unedited and unscripted".
However, Mr Barnett said he would not agree to having three debates.
"As has been the convention in previous state elections, there will only be one leaders' debate - a television debate," he said.
The Nationals negotiated with both parties after the previous election and eventually helped the Liberals form government.
"Labor has ruled out forming government with the Nationals and the feeling is mutual," Mr Holt said.
Mr McGowan said the announcement was not surprising and it was a facade that the Nationals were independent.
"They are now part of the Liberal Party machine.
"All of their promises need to be added together."
The ABC has reported it is hoping to show one leaders' debate on February 19.