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.

Tranquility and tension co-exist

Recent turmoil aside, the Middle East is a region of contrasts, politically and economically.

Govt gets ready to make a move

The state government's move from Governor Stirling Tower has ruffled a few feathers, but it makes sense in the longer term.

WA clubs gambling on the pokies

Andrew Wilkie’s plans for legislation on poker machines could change the way gaming plays out in this state.

Uranium policy Labor’s albatross

State Labor faces a political and ideological challenge when it next addresses its policy on uranium.

Cautionary tale of opportunity lost

John D’Orazio was a central figure in the turmoil that eventually brought Labor’s reign, under Alan Carpenter to an end.

Mixed signals from WA economy

Christian Porter might be planning to prime the pump in his May budget.

The PM finds a timely diversion

There are plenty of political points available when talks about a new GST carve-up get under way.

Barnett pushes competitive pitch

Colin Barnett didn’t win any friends at a rally over the issue of local content on resources projects.

Barnett talks tough on funds deal

Colin Barnett has warned of problems for future development if WA can’t get a better funding deal from the Commonwealth.

Beware if the revenue is ‘lumpy’

The government is hoping to hose down expectations that the state is awash with money.

GST argument likely to continue

Despite the Commonwealth’s recent GST concessions to WA, the federal government won’t be expecting much thanks.

Going all out on capital works

The state government is overseeing a massive capital works program, but questions remain over Oakajee.

Lack of local content starts to bite

The lack of orders for local fabrication workshops is starting to become a political problem for the government.

All eyes are on the Nationals

Under the leadership of Brendon Grylls the Nationals are increasingly confident about their future role in state politics.

WA needs to stay a step ahead

The Barnett government’s decision not to attend a recent trade showcase in the US sends the wrong message.

Uncertainty the only definite

The manoeuvring is well under way as both state political parties evaluate their future leadership teams.

Labor challenge fallout continues

Despite seeing off Ben Wyatt’s ‘challenge’ for the top job, WA Labor leader Eric Ripper still has plenty to do if he wants to lead the party to the next election.

ALP tyro learns a bruising lesson

Ben Wyatt’s short-lived challenge for leadership of the Labor Party has highlighted the influence of the key powerbrokers, namely unions on both the right and left.

Policy debate to heat up in 2011

Labor’s hoping to open a few cracks in the government’s defences and zero in on problem areas for the premier and his team.

Conservatives to pressure COAG

Colin Barnett is still annoyed at his most recent COAG meeting experience, and will be hoping for a change in tone when the council next meets.

NSW next stop on Liberal train

Colin Barnett may have some surprise fellow travellers at the next COAG meeting.

Forget polls, Libs need new schtick

It’s not Colin Barnett’s style to let an opinion poll alter his course, especially when it involves his path to victory at the next state election.

Libs searching for a new strategy

The fragile nature of the Liberal-National alliance has been exposed by the contentious stop and search legislation.

Buswell back before Christmas?

Troy Buswell’s likely return to state cabinet will require someone to stand aside. But who?

Straight talk from state Labor

Misplaced loyalty can prove costly in politics, and it seems state Labor has finally woken up to the fact when it comes to relations with the federal government.

Reality exposes political overreach

Being seen to be tough on crime was an assured vote winner in the past, but recent setbacks to the government’s stop and search powers have shifted the debate.

Pay claims process needs overhaul

The piecemeal wage and salary fixing mechanism for public sector workers is a political issue that won’t go away, as inaction by both sides of politics demonstrates.

Pressure on over population push

Post-election indications that Julia Gillard is prepared to look at population needs on a state-by-state basis are good news for WA, where skilled workers are needed.

Better numbers a mixed blessing

Colin Barnett has a job on his hands to balance public expectations with the realities of a growing economy, particularly with regard to household prices.

Barnett on top at half-way mark

Despite major hikes to household expenses, Colin Barnett’s first two years as premier of WA have put the government in a secure position.

Who is the real winner here?

The once-cosy relationship between the state and federal political leaders requires a delicate balancing act in the wake of a new Labor 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.

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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.

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.