Here's a snapshot of the new WA Parliament's first day



May 11, 2017 21:29:30

On the first sitting day of the 40th West Australian Parliament, Premier Mark McGowan outlined his plan to boost state coffers by $4 billion, and former premier Colin Barnett made his way to the Opposition benches after more than eight years in the top job.

Here’s a wrap of the key events of the day.

It’s no secret WA’s share of GST is the lowest in the country at 34 cents in the dollar, and it’s something that’s never far from the minds of leaders of both sides of politics.

So it was no surprise Mr McGowan used his first Question Time as Premier to spell out a possible solution.

The Premier wants 25 per cent of the state’s iron ore revenue quarantined for WA.

“That would mean that over the next four years we would be $4.618 billion better off,” Mr McGowan said.

“That would ensure that we reward economic activity, we reward the development of the iron ore industry.”

Governor spells out support for crime victims

WA Governor Kerry Sanderson addressed Parliament to outline the Labor Government’s agenda.

She said the Government planned to place the victims of crime at the centre of the judicial system.

“Tougher penalties for methamphetamine traffickers, ‘no body no parole’ laws, increased restrictions on dangerous sex offenders, measurers against the practice of revenge porn and reforms for the mentally impaired,” she said.

She also called for more action on WA’s “unfair” share of GST.

Barnett bushes off the media

Former premier Colin Barnett arrived at Parliament House ready to face a very different political life after eight-and-a-half years in the top job. He was sworn and took his place on the WA Opposition’s backbench.

There has been much speculation about Mr Barnett’s future, with many predicting he will step down from politics, but he brushed off questions about his political future.

Outgoing Liberal MP Liz Behjat came to his defence, calling on people to “back off and leave him to it”.

New faces aplenty

MPs were sworn in by WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin, and there were many new faces among them after Labor’s landslide win ended the careers of many veteran Liberal MPs.

But the day wasn’t all ceremonial, with the Government introducing its first bill, which aims to give the Attorney-General power to audit local governments.

Liberal Leader Mike Nahan used his first question as Opposition Leader to remind Mr McGowan of his 2013 election campaign pledge to move the Premier’s department out of Hale House and into Dumas House.

Dr Nahan asked if he would stand by that promise, and allow a charity to occupy the offices that had received a multi-million dollar refurbishment under the Barnett government.

Mr McGowan responded by saying the promise was made four years ago, but said he would give it some thought.

“It’s something I am considering,” the Premier said.

“I find it bizarre to be honest with you that the first question asked in this place is about the office arrangements.”




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May 11, 2017 21:21:08

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