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.

Ripper says room for injections

The ‘rainy day’ has arrived, and a former WA treasurer is calling on the McGowan government to do more.

Labor winds-back privatisation

OPINION: The McGowan government has made a big call to put jobs at a major Perth hospital on the public payroll.

CCC still doing the business

OPINION: The Corruption and Crime Commission has experienced highs and lows since being established with draconian powers in 2004 by the Gallop Labor government to root out poor practices in the public sector.

Wyatt call sets Labor challenge

It was Premier Mark McGowan’s ‘Christian Porter moment’, the day he saw his talented younger colleague, and probable successor, decide that a promising future in state politics was not for him.

Retirements leave major gaps

OPINION: State Labor’s hold on several regional seats could be in jeopardy with the impending retirement of some stalwarts and tough electoral fights for others.

Labor reclaims outsourced jobs

OPINION: The public sector workforce is growing again, having been cut to streamline state expenditure amid the McGowan government’s budget repair efforts.

Financial trade-off for Labor

OPINION: Mark McGowan and his Labor government are sitting pretty entering the final quarter of their first four-year term, with no obvious domestic issues likely to destabilise their approach to the next election in March 2021.

Seat changes add uncertainty

OPINION: The state’s electoral redistribution commissioners shouldn’t expect Christmas cards from opposition leader Liza Harvey, former Labor minister Margaret Quirk or the first-term member for Joondalup, Emily Hamilton.

McGowan puts public servants on notice

OPINION: The allegations of millions of dollars of money being stolen from the Housing Authority have exposed WA’s public sector.

Pressure on WA's dying bill

OPINION: Premier Mark McGowan, most Labor Party MPs, and many Liberals as well, are keen for the contentious voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation to be passed within the next fortnight, but for significantly different reasons.

Labor resets, mines for votes

Labor has walked away from its planned major redistribution of income, and sought to clarify confusion over coal mining that cost it at the last federal poll.

Federal Labor out of step

OPINION: The Labor Party is struggling to embrace a common view of why it lost the 2019 federal election.

Balanced budget just a start

OPINION: Having got spending under control, the McGowan government now needs to find ways to encourage business growth.

Uniformity needed on donations

One of Australia's most experienced electoral officials has called for a major shakeup in the regulation and reporting of political donations at federal and state levels.

Labor hit by complacency

OPINION: The actions of some Labor delegates at the recent state conference were farcical.

Rail cars to test government

OPINION: The state government’s $1.6 billion plan to build railcars at Bellevue for the Metronet project represents a massive public sector investment in local manufacturing.

Auditor sheds light on ramping

A new report has challenged views on the effects of ambulance ramping on patient outcomes.

Stadium sport heads tourism drive

OPINION: Paul Papalia’s task to increase local, national and international tourist numbers and spending remains a work in progress, but signs are positive.

Challenges await Morrison, Greens

OPINION: Having won an election and passed his tax plan, Scott Morrison must now deliver economic growth, while the Greens have a problem of their own.

Harvey makes bold policy push

OPINION: Liza Harvey hasn’t taken long to put her mark on the Liberal leadership in WA.

Restoring confidence key

OPINION: In WA and on the national stage, the men in charge of the purse strings face challenges of control and confidence.

WA plays it down the middle

OPINION: Federal Labor failed to capitalise on any remaining goodwill WA voters had for the party after Mark McGowan’s 2017 success.

Stability must follow election

OPINION: The musical chairs of PMs over the past decade must stop in the interests of the nation

Who will champion WA in Canberra?

OPINION: Outlying states need their MPs to step up, but ministerial experience on both sides is a bit thin this time around.

Battle of ideas or cash splash?

OPINION: Both sides of politics are promising tax cuts ahead of the upcoming federal poll amid slowing global economy and sluggish consumer spending.

Cabinet choice conundrum for federal Labor

OPINION: A fair go for WA would be suitable ministerial representation for the state in a Shorten government.

EPA stirs resources sector

OPINION: Industrial emissions policy in a resources state such as WA is fraught, with much of the electorate wanting action and business requiring certainty.

Liberal women jockey in Curtin

OPINION: The field of candidates to replace Julie Bishop in the seat of Curtin got crowded very quickly.

Payroll tax cut will help jobs

OPINION: Nearly two years in, Mark McGowan is finding it tougher in government to realise a key poll promise to create more jobs in WA.

Bishop faces critical call

Opinion: Julie Bishop’s standing with the electorate and fundraising skills make her a key player at the coming federal poll, but will she stand?

Curbing wild election promises

Opinion: With the government seemingly on track to delivery a budget surplus, one key aspect of the Langoulant review is worth another look.



Union pressure on McGowan

ANALYSIS: The union movement hasn’t wasted any time reminding Premier-elect Mark McGowan that it wants a share of the spoils, even before he has moved into his new West Perth office.

MacTiernan bounces back

ANALYSIS: Freshly recycled Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan has been fast tracked into Premier-elect Mark McGowan’s new cabinet, even though she will not formally start her term in the Legislative Council until mid-May.

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.

Grylls, Francis losses a major blow

ANALYSIS: The failure of Nationals WA leader Brendon Grylls and straight talking Liberal frontbencher Joe Francis to retain their seats is a devastating blow to their parties. But it can only get worse.

most commented

Biting the bullet on retail reform

Colin Barnett may like to accentuate the positive, but he got a grilling at a recent business forum when the topic turned to retail trading reform.

PM ticks the boxes in visit west

WHEN Julia Gillard flew into Perth for the first time as prime minister last week, she had two key objectives.

Don’t take the west for granted

It may have only 15 seats in a 150-seat federal parliament, but WA could still play a determining role in the August election.

Time to pick up the baton and lead

Through the campaign so far and during the debate, neither Tony Abbott nor Julia Gillard is showing the type of leadership required to inspire voters at the upcoming poll.