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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.

Nationals’ success sends a warning

The rise of the Greens nationally and the resurgence of the Nationals in WA has thrown down the gauntlet to the major parties.

Contests hinge on grass-roots issues

The proposed mining tax was never going to be a winner in WA, and Liberal Party coffers are evidence of that, with the local branch kicking-in $1 million for the federal campaign.

Star turn may not play out so well

Colin Barnett played a star role at the Liberals’ federal campaign launch last weekend, but some of Tony Abbott’s plans may concern the WA premier.

Mine tax funds for Perth Gateway

While Colin Barnett is pleased with federal Labor’s $480 million commitment to the Perth Gateway Project, he remains opposed to the tax that will be levied to provide the funds.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.