Monday, 15 September 2008

Barnett to be sworn in as 29th Premier

Colin Barnett will be sworn in as the 29th Premier of Western Australia.

The Premier-elect Colin Barnett will meet the Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls this morning to work out how the parties will share power in Western Australia's parliament.

Mr Barnett had been offering the National Party up to five Cabinet positions if it formed a coalition government, but with the party vowing to remain independent it could be given between one and three ministerial positions.

Mr Grylls says he wants to be the Minister for Regional Development with control over the royalties for regions policy.

Mr Barnett will be sworn in as the state's 29th Premier this week and says he would like to see Parliament resume in a few weeks.

"We're here and how we got here is, I guess, a good story of politics, but what did we campaign on? We had policies, we had good candidates and from day one," he said.

"I said I only wanted to lead the Liberal and National Parties to victory and that is what we have done.

Mr Barnett says he's not concerned the Nationals have vowed to remain an independent party.

"The ability of Nationals ministers to disagree with the Government will be according to an agreed protocol," he said.

"This is a significant result for politics across the country.

"We had a situation of wall-to-wall Labor governments. I don't believe that was good for Australian democracy."

New Labor leader

The Labor Party will elect a new Opposition Leader at a caucus meeting tomorrow morning, following the resignation of Alan Carpenter.

The Member for Bassendean Martin Whitely wants the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Alannah MacTiernan to lead the Labor Party.

"The public respond very well to her," he said.

"She is prepared, she has the character, she has the work ethic and she's ready to take it up to the Libs from day one."

It's understood the other contenders for the job are understood to be Eric Ripper and Mark McGowan.

One senior Labor Minister has told the ABC that the Member for Victoria Park, Ben Wyatt, who has been touted as a future leader, is not ready for the role.

Jim McGinty says he will not contest the leadership.

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