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.

No bonanza likely for state MPs

State politicians are unlikely to see any benefit from changes to the way their federal counterparts are remunerated.

Singing from the same song book

Eric Ripper’s reception at the federal Labor conference last weekend shows how great his party’s challenge is at home.

Libs will sink slipper into speaker

The minority government in federal parliament has thrown another curve ball with the appointment of the new speaker of the house.

Rock star reception a bit much

The federal government is involved in a high-stakes game as it seeks to balance the needs of two important allies.

Birney keeps quiet on comeback

Recent rumblings suggest there may be a role for Matt Birney in the state Liberal Party’s future post-Colin Barnett.

Richo rails against ‘nanny state’

A one-time Labor heavyweight says the push to impose restrictions on poker machine use is indicative of the federal government’s failings.

Time bomb lurks underground

An ERA report into the state’s underground power program has opened a can of worms the premier would rather not deal with right now.

Local Labor split on Gillard

Some in the WA Labor Party think their cause will be boosted by a Tony Abbott-led government in Canberra.

Royalties plan may deliver goods

The royalties for regions scheme, which has proved a political winner, is poised to be streamlined under new, significant proposals.

Scaffidi targets broad voter net

The Perth lord mayoral race has highlighted the issue of financial accountability and state policy on the third tier of government.

Power brings responsibility to act

Colin Barnett is running out of time to make some tough decisions on the state’s power system.

Court legacy worth remembering

The challenge for the current, and future, governments in WA is to add to the value of the state’s minerals exports.

Time for pre-election largesse?

The purse strings may soon be relaxed if the state’s 2010-11 financial performance turns out to be better than expected.

Cost a big block on Oakajee port: Barnett

Premier Colin Barnett says cost is the major barrier to the development of the proposed multi-billion dollar deepwater port, railway network and industrial site at Oakajee, north of Geraldton. 

Gillard needs opinion poll bounce

The government is hoping to advance its legislative agenda during this week’s sitting of parliament.

Gillard’s right on manufacturing

Things are pretty tough for Julia Gillard – she’s copping it from both sides of politics at the moment.

Libs push membership credentials

Whatever the true figures, both sides of politics needs to work a bit harder to increase their membership.

Lobbyists can still slip the net

The Barnett government is about 900 days late with the release of its ‘lobbyists’ register’, but it’s sure to ruffle a few feathers.

Old chestnut gets another roasting

Reaction to the latest rise in MPs’ salaries shows that finding a united community position on the issue is as remote as ever.

Breaking the retail trade impasse

The vested interests in the debate over shopping hours are holding firm to their positions, making compromise difficult.

Barnett goes for water insurance

Colin Barnett has moved to sideline water as a political issue as the state heads towards an election in 2013.

Grylls revisits regional dream

The Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has devised a bold decentralisation policy involving nine towns and $86m this year.

Libs’ public transport opportunity

The government has a chance to prove the claim that the Liberals don’t really care about public transport is a myth.

Taxpayers carry the can, again

The revelation the state government’s Office of Shared Services is to be disbanded after costing taxpayers almost $450 million over six years is just the latest in a long line of public sector financial disasters.

Barnett’s bold gamble on stadium

Colin Barnett has taken a bit of a gamble in naming Burswood as the site for the new 60,000-seat stadium.

Need to tread carefully on wages

Some delicate negotiation is needed in the upcoming round of pay claims if the government is to emerge unscathed.

Porter facing a major challenge

It will be a major boost for attorney-general Christian Porter if he can get his draft prostitution Bill across the line.

Faulkner’s blunt message for Labor

A return to robust internal debate and a party-first mentality would be a good start for a Labor Party in decline.

Barnett scores a D for delivery

Colin Barnett’s Liberal-National team increasingly looks like a government unable to make the big decisions.

Barnett on front foot in fed stoush

Colin Barnett’s not going to take a backward step in his funding fight with the federal government, and Wayne Swan in particular.

Barnett puts wedge to good effect

The state's decision to lift iron ore royalties has provided a headache for the federal government.



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.