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.

Political posts and power plays

Opinion: The departure of career public servant Stephen Wood has raised questions about the role of the bureaucracy in providing frank and fearless advice.

Who can’t handle the truth?

It’s one thing to call for transparency when in opposition, but another altogether to provide full accountability when in government.

Liberals have plans for Honey

Opinion: Local branch members got their man when David Honey won the recent Cottesloe by-election.

Nahan’s calculated royalties risk

Opinion: The opposition leader has broken publicly with many of his colleagues to question the ongoing sustainability of the Royalties for Regions program.

Report response a key test for Labor

OPINION: The challenges facing the McGowan government are laid out in the report into the Barnett government’s financial record.

Barnett back to beat GST drum

Although now far from the political spotlight, Colin Barnett has warned of significant upheaval if the GST mess isn’t sorted out.

Labor banking on stadium success

Mark McGowan will hope to bask in the warm afterglow of ongoing public approval of the new stadium at Burswood.

Action needed on budget repair

To a large degree, Labor’s big budget repair plans have stalled, while newcomers on both sides of the aisle find their way around their house on the hill.

Urban no legend in Labor ranks

The state government is facing its first major personnel crisis, and the opposition is keen for a win.

Oppositions take populist position on budget repair

The opposition parties in Perth and Canberra are kicking the can down the road on debt, despite the parlous state of their respective budgetary positions.

Tough call to get the naming right

Private sector sponsorship of public infrastructure has frequently caused controversy, and the sale of naming rights to Perth’s new stadium is no exception.

Upper house dilemma is Labor’s to solve

OPINION: Skewed voter representation and the often-obstructionist outcome that follows has some eyeing changes to the WA Legislative Council.

Hopes for GST ‘floor’ misplaced

OPINION: It will be every state for itself when the Productivity Commission’s report into the GST distribution is released in January.

Premier can’t bow to police on pay row

OPINION: It is vital for the WA government to stick with its budget repair plans despite breaking an election commitment on pay rises.

Labor faces upper house highwire act

OPINION: Labor will need to compromise if its budget plans are to pass the parliament, and a push for upper house reform may not be out of the question.

Christo Moll, Murray Quartermaine named in federal inquiry papers

Allegations that late High Court judge Lionel Murphy had been involved in a tax avoidance scheme in Western Australia are contained in classified documents considered by a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry released in Canberra today.

WA poll fears could drive feds’ largesse

OPINION: The federal government may be forced to play nice with WA’s Labor government, as fallout from within the Liberals over the GST gets ugly.

Wyatt faces test on budget

OPINION: Ben Wyatt has dealt with a range of challenges during his relatively short political career, but next month’s budget will be his most significant.

Malcolm in the middle of a political stalemate

OPINION: The federal Liberal government’s failure to deal with the issue of same-sex marriage is indicative of a party more concerned with its own internal machinations than effective governance.

Satterley hopes for GST deal next month

Perth property developer Nigel Satterley is confident of an early breakthrough in the campaign he has spearheaded with other business leaders for a better deal for Western Australia over the distribution of GST revenue.

Promising step for longer terms

OPINION: With federal governments seemingly in campaign mode 24-7, calls for fixed four-year terms for the House of Representatives make sense.

Libs need to mend some fences

OPINION: The ball is in Malcolm Turnbull’s court if the Liberals want to shore up seats in WA.

Honeymoon’s over for Labor

OPINION: The government is finding out the argument that ‘it’s the Liberals’ fault’ will only hold for so long.

New party puts GST front and centre

OPINION: The formation of the Put Western Australia First Party has raised the stakes over tax reform, with the Liberals and Labor on notice that Senate seats may come under threat unless something tangible is done to resolve the GST impasse.

WA Inc call a stretch for Barnett

OPINION: While good relations between government and the private sector are important, Mark McGowan will be keen to avoid being seen as too close to business.

Willmott rules out bid for Cottesloe

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA chief executive Deidre Willmott will not be a contender for Liberal Party endorsement for the Legislative Assembly seat of Cottesloe when the incumbent, former premier Colin Barnett, quits politics.

Nats won’t back down to miners

OPINION: If Rio and BHP thought their political troubles ended when Brendon Grylls lost his seat at the recent election, they had better think again.

Lumsden welcomes ‘50-year’ transport package

Western Australian Planning Commission chairman Eric Lumsden says the newly endorsed $2.3 billion road and rail package for the metropolitan area will address Perth’s public transport needs for the next 25 to 50 years.

GST review just the first step

OPINION: A Productivity Commision analysis of the tax carve-up is just the start in what could be a divisive process.

Barnett defers major call

OPINION: Colin Barnett has decided to stay on as the member for Cottesloe, but how for long is another matter.

GST first of many tests for Labor

OPINION: The McGowan government will need to get straight down to business, given the backlog of issues it needs to address.



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

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.

GST first of many tests for Labor

OPINION: The McGowan government will need to get straight down to business, given the backlog of issues it needs to address.