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Joe Spagnolo reveals his picks for WA’s political stars and duds for … – The West Australian


Mark McGowan Premier & Treasurer

Premier Mark McGowan. Andrew Ritchie
Digital camera IconPremier Mark McGowan. Andrew Ritchie Credit score: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

If an election was held at present, WA Labor would win — simply.

Labor will win the 2025 election and probably the one after that.

That’s primarily because of the unmatched reputation of McGowan after final yr’s State Election massacre, which laid the groundwork for a Labor dynasty.

If you have a look at the issues which are essential to most West Australians, the State scores extraordinarily extremely.

The worth of housing stays probably the most inexpensive within the nation, anybody who desires a job has one, the financial system is robust and the standard of life is enviable.

And, after all, WA has the worst Liberal Get together of the fashionable period, which means there isn’t any actual opposition..

“I might put him (McGowan) within the checklist of contenders as WA’s best-ever Premier,” revered WA political analyst Dr Harry Phillips informed me.

I’m eager to see how McGowan performs post-COVID, which is able to outline his premiership.

For mine, McGowan must do extra within the cost-of-living area.

Hits: The State’s funds proceed to be sturdy with WA on observe for a $2 billion surplus this yr and one other $10 billion in surpluses over the subsequent three years. And McGowan has used his overflowing piggy financial institution to deal with points in well being, social housing, homelessness and policing in 2022.

Misses: McGowan’s COVID border reopening backflip in February put him at odds with well being and enterprise leaders. He defended the backflip by saying a February 5 reopening can be “reckless and irresponsible”.

Memorable second: McGowan fires again at NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s dig at how fortuitous WA is to have pure sources by saying: “I’m suggested he’s by no means been to WA, so I’m glad to organise a program for him.”

Rita Saffioti Transport & Planning Minister

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announces the closing of the Beckenham Station level crossing alongside Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King.
Digital camera IconWA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti is the McGowan Authorities’s finest performing minister of 2022. Credit score: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

For mine, the choose of the McGowan ministers for 2022.

Colin Barnett might need commissioned the brand new rail line to the airport, however Saffioti constructed it — and she or he did it throughout a one-in-a-100-year pandemic.

Deserves the identical accolades, if no more, than Alannah MacTiernan when she constructed the Perth to Mandurah line.

Construct the remainder of Metronet, specifically the rail line out to Ellenbrook and Yanchep, and Saffioti deserves to be rated one of the best transport minister of the fashionable period.

Hits: Saffioti wanted to ship the brand new rail line to the airport — she wanted to get the monkey off her again. She has achieved that.

Misses: We want extra Metronet rail strains opened. The nice folks of Ellenbrook have been ready a very long time.

Memorable second: I liked the way in which she batted off ideas she wished to be the State’s subsequent treasurer. After all, you need Treasury, Rita!

Tony Buti Aboriginal Affairs, Finance, Racing & Gaming (Following this week’s reshuffle, now Schooling & Aboriginal Affairs Minister)

Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti. Justin Benson-Cooper
Digital camera IconRacing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti. Justin Benson-Cooper Credit score: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Buti’s star is shining.

You don’t get the training portfolio if you’re common. I’ve at all times seen Buti because the Prince Charles of the WA Parliament — destined for a better calling.

It’s well-known that he will probably be attorney-general when John Quigley strikes on.

Buti is displaying he can deal with a number of portfolios since his ascension to the ministry in 2021.

Hits: I just like the appointment of an unbiased monitor to supervise the Perth on line casino following a royal fee discovered Crown Resorts was unsuitable to run it.

Misses: Buti was caught out by The Sunday Occasions having incurred 4 dashing fines between 2020 and 2022.

Memorable second: His work on Protected Leisure Precincts legal guidelines to maintain thugs out of Northbridge.

Libby Mettam Liberal deputy chief & Opposition well being spokesperson

News. Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam. Jackson Flindell
Digital camera IconInformation. Shadow Well being Minister Libby Mettam. Jackson Flindell Credit score: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Mettam is the star performer of the WA Liberal Get together, with a particular commendation for Steve Thomas.

She works onerous and fronts the media recurrently.

Hits: As an Opposition well being spokesperson, Mettam is doing precisely what she needs to be doing — holding the Authorities to account.

And Mettam is to be extremely recommended for her work as chair of a parliamentary inquiry that shone a light-weight on the sordid world of sexual assault and harassment in our mining trade.

Misses: Mettam should determine in 2023 whether or not she desires the management or not and, if that’s the case, go for it.

Memorable second: Mettam’s heart-felt feedback after the mining sexual assault and harassment report was launched: “To listen to the lived actuality of the taunts, assaults and focused violence, the devastation and despair of the victims skilled, the threats to or lack of their livelihood that resulted was shattering and fully inexcusable.”


John Quigley Lawyer-Common

John Quigley Attorney-General of Western Australia. Andrew Ritchie
Digital camera IconJohn Quigley Lawyer-Common of Western Australia. Andrew Ritchie Credit score: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

This yr won’t be a part of Quigley’s highlights reel.

A horrible 2022.

Quigley’s “foolish little error” whereas giving proof in a defamation case between Clive Palmer and McGowan (he needed to appropriate proof he gave in March) put the seed of doubt into the minds of not simply his detractors, however his colleagues, as as to if Q was the appropriate individual to maintain the A-G gig.

Justice Lee referred to as Quigley a “confused and complicated” witness: not an important search for WA’s first legislation officer.

Hits: Quigley and fellow ministers Amber-Jade Sanderson and Simone McGurk mixed to announce reform to WA’s abortion legal guidelines.

Misses: His absent-minded testimony this yr within the Palmer-McGowan defamation case had shades of The Nutty Professor.

Memorable second: The textual content message between McGowan and Quigley made public through the Palmer case through which the A-G tells McGowan: “Hey, are you glad me single once more — not making love within the candy hours earlier than daybreak, as a substitute worrying methods to defeat Clive.”

Invoice Johnston Corrective Companies, Power, Mines & Petroleum

Corrections minister Bill Johnston. Kelsey Reid
Digital camera IconCorrections minister Invoice Johnston. Kelsey Reid Credit score: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Arduous to be flattering of Johnston once we at the moment are having to import coal from NSW to maintain the air-con on this summer season.

And onerous to be flattering of Johnston when McGowan needed to provide you with a $63 million Banksia Hill rescue bundle due to all of the flak the juvenile justice system was copping.

Not that this may be significantly worrying Johnston. Criticism doesn’t appear to faze him.

He has a cover like a rhinoceros.

Possibly that’s as a result of Labor sources inform me Johnston won’t contest the subsequent election: regardless of Johnston saying he’ll.

Hits: I just like the transfer to renewable vitality past coal by 2030, however Johnston will probably be lengthy gone earlier than then.

Misses: Importing coal from NSW? Actually?

Memorable second: I identical to the way in which Johnston consistently reverts to the “nothing to see right here” tactic. Does it higher than anybody else I’ve seen in WA politics.

David Honey WA Liberal Chief

Liberal leader David Honey. Kelsey Reid
Digital camera IconLiberal chief David Honey. Kelsey Reid Credit score: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Being the chief of a celebration after an election loss — not to mention one of many magnitude of the 2021 slaughter — is usually a poisoned chalice.

However Honey is just unelectable.

A latest ballot confirmed Honey has an approval score of simply 9 per cent. Time for his deputy to have a go.

Hits: Possibly a few of Honey’s humorous Labor piss-takes on Twitter.

Misses: McGowan grins just like the Cheshire cat each time he thinks of Honey and Nick Goiran’s Liberal Get together.

Memorable second: Honey is such a non-factor that probably the most memorable second of his yr was what another person stated about him: Liberal powerbroker Goiran professing his love. Speak in regards to the kiss of loss of life: “David Honey has been doing a unbelievable job in very tough circumstances. It’s pretend information of the very best order to recommend there may be any difficulty with regard to David Honey’s management.”


Amber-Jade Sanderson Well being

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson Daniel Wilkins
Digital camera IconWell being Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson Daniel Wilkins Credit score: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Well being is a non-forgiving portfolio.

And Sanderson is discovering that out. Sanderson was touted as a future chief of the get together earlier than she took on well being.

I nonetheless suppose Sanderson has the makings of a future chief.

However like each different well being minister I’ve appraised since 2005, she is struggling to fulfill the excessive expectations of a resources-rich State.

Hits: I preferred the way in which she stood her floor with the troubled Australian Nursing Federation over its complicated wages declare. Not one West Australian bemoans higher working and wage situations for nurses, however the ANF has come off second finest on this battle with the Authorities. The nurses head into Christmas and not using a pay rise.

Misses: Sanderson has spent a lot of the yr reacting to unhealthy information — whether or not that be ambulance ramping, issues with the Authorities’s ambulance contract with St John or morale and staffing points at Perth Youngsters’s Hospital.

Memorable second: Her strikes to reform WA’s abortion legal guidelines.

Roger Cook dinner State Growth, Jobs & Commerce, Tourism (has added Hydrogen Business after reshuffle)

State Development minister Roger Cook at Parliament House. Nic Ellis
Digital camera IconState Growth minister Roger Cook dinner at Parliament Home. Nic Ellis Credit score: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Cook dinner appears rejuvenated since shedding Well being final yr.

He was spent after a four-year-stint as well being minister — the majority through the top of the pandemic.

The WA Labor Deputy Chief has his swagger again, and together with Saffioti, stays a number one contender to develop into the subsequent Treasurer, every time McGowan will get bored with doing that job, in addition to that of Premier.

If McGowan sensationally stop, Cook dinner would substitute him.

Hits: Cook dinner went to India (with the biggest-ever WA commerce and enterprise mission), Germany, the UK, and Indonesia to unfold the phrase that the west is open for enterprise.

Misses: A serious problem for WA, like each different State, is attractive abroad employees again to our shores to be able to fill jobs.

Final Sunday The Occasions revealed the hospitality trade wants 13,000 employees for the festive season.

As Tourism, Jobs and Commerce and State Growth Minister, Cook dinner performs a key function in attractive extra employees to WA.

Memorable second: How Cook dinner tried to placed on a courageous face when he came upon soccer famous person Cristiano Ronaldo was not coming to Perth for the worldwide competition of soccer: “Whereas it will clearly be unbelievable if Ronaldo may come to Perth, we perceive household comes first and help his resolution.”

Paul Papalia Police & Street Security

Minister for Police Paul Papalia. Kelsey Reid
Digital camera IconMinister for Police Paul Papalia. Kelsey Reid Credit score: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

The previous navy diver is an efficient match as Police Minister.

My nickname for Papalia is Santino Corleone of Godfather fame.

Like well being, police and street security is a thankless portfolio.

How do you curb poor behaviour, which sadly could be at its worst behind the wheel or on the streets of Northbridge. However Papalia is having a crack.

Hits: I just like the introduction of latest cell point-to-point pace cameras and the persevering with bikie crackdown. The introduction of firearm prohibition orders is admirable.

Misses: A document variety of cops quitting. Is it disillusionment with the job and dealing situations, or coppers leaving in quest of new alternatives? Seemingly a little bit of each.

Memorable second: His evaluation of hoons. “You’ve acquired to surprise what’s motivating these individuals — compensating for one thing like very small brains,” Santino Papalia stated.

John Carey Housing, Lands, Homelessness, Native Authorities

Lands Minister John Carey. Simon Santi
Digital camera IconLands Minister John Carey. Simon Santi Credit score: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Carey continues to attempt to heal a sore that has been festering for years — a extreme lack of social housing and homelessness.

Let’s be trustworthy: who would need Carey’s portfolios? He’s within the sizzling seat.

Hits: Like Papalia, Carey is having a crack. Final week he introduced ahead $63 million to purchase extra homes so he can lease them to WA battlers.

Misses: Public housing figures are nonetheless horrible: 19,000 purposes for social housing (that equates to about 34,000 individuals).

If Carey can flip effort into outcomes, his political cred will improve.

Memorable second: I like Carey’s coverage to help “tough sleepers” into 100 social houses.

Reece Whitby Surroundings (additionally Racing and Gaming after reshuffle)

Pictured is Minister for Climate Action Reece Whitby. Kelsey Reid
Digital camera IconPictured is Minister for Local weather Motion Reece Whitby. Kelsey Reid Credit score: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

I’ve pencilled in Whitby as a potential contender to be the subsequent Labor chief in Opposition.

However within the meantime, I wish to see him challenged past what he has been to this point. I wish to see him sweat.

And including Racing and Gaming to his Surroundings tasks on this week’s reshuffle won’t do this.

Hits: In an Australian-first, a ban on the sale or provide of disposable plastic cups for chilly drinks began in October in WA.

Misses: Why hasn’t the McGowan Authorities but legislated for web zero by 2050? Why not enshrine its local weather targets in laws?

Memorable second: Whitby was caught out by The Sunday Occasions having incurred a $400 fantastic on a double demerit level weekend final yr. Lead-foot Whitby additionally incurred two different dashing fines in 2021.

Mia Davies Nationwide Get together & Opposition chief

Mia Davies Leader of the Opposition on the steps of Parliament House Andrew Ritchie
Digital camera IconMia Davies Chief of the Opposition on the steps of Parliament Home Andrew Ritchie Credit score: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

Davies is not any Brendon Grylls.

Her yr has been unspectacular, and she or he continues to be a steady-as-we-go sort of chief.

Hits: I like how Davies declared the WA Nationals would help the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, not like her Federal colleagues.

Misses: I nonetheless battle with the hypocrisy of the Nationals arguing in opposition to extra prolonged procuring hours in Perth. They don’t appear to thoughts deregulated procuring hours again dwelling within the bush.

Memorable second: Would have liked to be a fly on the wall when Davies came upon North West Central MP Vince Catania was resigning from state politics.

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