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Peter Kennedy

Peter writes the Political Perspective column. He started in full-time journalism at The West Australian in 1970 and covered politics in Sydney and Canberra for The Sydney Morning Herald from 1977-84. He was press secretary to deputy premier Mal Bryce in the mid-80s, and joined the ABC in 1990, presenting both the Morning and Drive programs on 720 6WF, and then was state political reporter for ABC TV News for 11 years. Peter graduated from the University of WA with a bachelor of arts (economics) and a diploma of education.

Cautious campaigns aim for small targets

ANALYSIS: Both Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan wisely avoided making big spending commitments when they launched their formal election campaigns on Sunday.

Leaders facing tests of policy

ANALYSIS: With early voting for the state election due to start on Monday, both Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan will face major tests when they deliver their formal policy speeches on Sunday.

Tight regional contests bring benefits

ANALYSIS: There has never been a better time to be a voter in the regional port cities of Albany, Bunbury and Geraldton. All are marginal seats and the centre of very close attention from the major parties.

Labor optimistic on debt reduction

ANALYSIS: Full marks to the Labor Party for coming up with its debt reduction strategy early in the election campaign. It indicates both the party and shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt are serious about getting the state's finances into a much healthier position.

Leaders need to outline an economic strategy

OPINION: Our political leaders do voters a disservice by failing to spell out their economic agenda.

Pivotal role for preferences

ANALYSIS: Memories of 2001 will be top-of -mind for many Liberal Party state executive members when they meet tomorrow to decide the preference recommendations for their how-to-vote cards ahead of next month's election.

Collie key as Labor backs away from renewables target

ANALYSIS: The Labor Party has moved quickly to snuff out any suggestion it will be pushing for a 50 per cent renewable energy target for the South West Interconnected System if it wins next month's state election.

Northern suburbs hold election key

ANALYSIS: The state election battleground has now moved to Perth's northern suburbs, with three Liberal-held seats previously thought impregnable now in play.

Diversify exports and customers: Court

Former premier Richard Court has urged producers in Western Australia to become more active to take advantage of the significant export opportunities emerging in Asian markets.

Malcolm on the outer

OPINION: WA Liberals would prefer Malcolm Turnbull stayed away in the lead-up to the March election, unless he has some good news to share about the GST.

One Nation’s ace in the pack

OPINION: The WA branch of Queenslander Pauline Hanson's protest party appears set to influence the state election. 

McGowan looks for measured performance

Opinion: A Labor state government will seek to incentivise the public sector to more energetically pursue policies.

US envoy promotes northern potential

The acting United States Ambassador to Australia, James Carouso, says there is enormous scope for increased American investment in northern Australia, including in the Broome and Ord River regions.

Business players in Liberal branch push

Three leading professionals have joined forces to take control of the Peppermint Grove branch of the Liberal Party, which is influential in the preselection process for Colin Barnett's state seat of Cottesloe.

Culleton crises an electoral risk

Legal issues swirling around One Nation's Rod Culleton could cruel the party's chances at the March state poll.

Leadership dilemma for Liberals

Colin Barnett may be the government's best performer in parliament, but his standing in voters' eyes is fuelling talk of a challenge.

Fronting up in the battle for the bush

The Nationals' proposed iron ore charge is part of a larger strategy to lure voters from its rivals at the March election.

Parties clash over local jobs

A Labor plan to boost manufacturing in WA has put it at odds with the Barnett government just months from the state poll.

Liberals facing election traps

Uncertainty about the direction of the government and its leadership is likely to persist despite the premier's win last week.

GST firmly in Grylls’ mine tax orbit

Brendon Grylls' proposal to lift the tax rate on WA's two biggest miners may have received some bad press, but at least it has started a conversation. 

Holding the line on wages challenge

The Barnett government is in no position to quell union unrest with generous pay deals.

Nationals play high-stakes game

Brendon Grylls was something of a change-agent when he got the Royalties for Regions policy implemented, but his plan to tax iron ore tonnages has business worried.

Additional voters a wild card

WA's belated adoption of changes to voter registration requirements has opened up a new challenge for the major parties ahead of the March 2017 poll.

Federal failings mould state strategy

Malcolm Turnbull's campaign failings have highlighted the danger of giving your opponent a free kick, and WA Liberals are sure to heed the warning.

Liberals start the blame game

Recriminations have already started within the Liberal Party over its poor performance in Saturday's federal election, with the finger being pointed at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's campaign strategy for having shaken the party's grip on power.

Fresh twist in GST debate

The GST's corrective measures will boost WA's financial position in coming years, if the current system remains unchanged.

Barnett hopes to contain federal fallout

The federal election could have ramifications for Colin Barnett's leadership; how big depends on the size of the swing against the Turnbull government.

Political business like no other

The Barnett government is coming under pressure from the big end of town.

Barnett fighting history in 2017

Colin Barnett may be battling the odds to make a third term, but he's certainly up for the fight.

Top bureaucrats jump ship

The imminent departure of four heavy hitters in the public service couldn't have come at a worse time for the state government.

Leaders squib GST challenge

Colin Barnett's political fellow travellers seem unwilling to help him in his efforts to achieve GST distribution reform.

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Business players in Liberal branch push

Three leading professionals have joined forces to take control of the Peppermint Grove branch of the Liberal Party, which is influential in the preselection process for Colin Barnett's state seat of Cottesloe.

Northern suburbs hold election key

ANALYSIS: The state election battleground has now moved to Perth's northern suburbs, with three Liberal-held seats previously thought impregnable now in play.

Liberals start the blame game

Recriminations have already started within the Liberal Party over its poor performance in Saturday's federal election, with the finger being pointed at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's campaign strategy for having shaken the party's grip on power.

Labor faces moment of truth

Melissa Parke's decision to stand aside at the next federal election poses some issues for the Labor Party in Fremantle.

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Scaffidi gets a reality check

Lisa Scaffidi is no stranger to the responsibilities of public office, which is why the imbroglio currently surrounding her is so perplexing.

Tensions remain over council change

The premier may be lining up for a second dig at local government reform.

Canning a psephologists’ nightmare

Despite the Liberals' big margin in Canning, the government is taking nothing for granted as the by-election nears.

All bets off, asset sales on

Asset sales are expected to feature heavily when the Barnett government releases its budget in May.