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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.

Labor building bridges

WA Labor’s road to reform got off to a good start at last week’s annual conference, but the momentum must be maintained.

Nalder talk drives succession plan

While unchallenged as premier and Liberal Party leader, Colin Barnett has to go sometime.

Seniors savings a pressure point

State and federal governments need to tread carefully when making changes to pensioner ‘entitlements’.

Get ready for the real pain

A stubbornly strong dollar and tumbling iron ore prices will test the budget assumptions.

It’s time … to move on

Labor can’t face the challenges ahead if the party remains focused on bitter battles and disputes of the past.

Barnett takes it up to Palmer

The fractious relationship between Colin Barnett and Clive Palmer has echoes of an earlier stoush between a 20th century premier and a mining magnate.

Slow burn could engulf WA Labor

The problems keep mounting for federal Labor in WA, with former colleagues speaking out against each other in a very public stoush.

Backed into a corner on GST

Whether state and territory leaders like it or not, federal cuts to education and health put GST reform front and centre.

Mixed messages cloud budgets

Liberal governments in WA and Canberra are finding few friends in light of recent budget measures.

Playing politics with pay talks

Savvy union leaders know they’re in a strong position to negotiate for their members when an election’s around the corner.

Gallop pops Sir Charles 'trust myth'

Geoff Gallop says Labor got sucked into the political view only the Liberals could be trusted with the economy.

Voters brace for tough budgets

The WA and federal budgets will test the political resolve of the governments to make the hard decisions.

Reform takes a back seat

The Barnett government has lost the ticker to make the changes recommended by the Economic Regulation Authority.

Labor verging on irrelevancy

If it wasn’t clear already, last week’s Senate poll delivered a stark warning to the Labor Party.

Barnett no longer teachers’ friend

The government can expect the teachers’ union to keep up the pressure all the way till the next state poll.

Preference system needs overhaul

There’s an easy fix for the busted Senate preference system currently in operation, but little political will to take the first step.

New-look team faces the music

Dean Nalder’s elevation to state cabinet may have surprised some, but Mike Nahan has the runs on the board to perform as treasurer.

The Buswell bombshell

Troy Buswell has left the political stage to face his personal issues, but he’s left the government with a few problems of its own.

Does more pay mean better MPs?

The public has a poor opinion of politicians but seems loath to pay more if it meant attracting better candidates.

Nerves ahead of fresh Senate vote

There’s plenty on the line for all contenders at the upcoming half-Senate election in WA, following the loss of 1,370 ballot papers at last year’s poll.

Court keen on tax change

What chance a federal government under budgetary pressure may decide to cede future tax wealth to the states?

Not so easy to axe this tax

It takes a fair degree of political skill to effect changes to even the most unpopular of taxes.

RPH treatment no emergency

The future of RPH as a tertiary hospital is as unclear as when the Liberals ‘prioritised’ the issue before the 2008 election.

Reform requires political will

Colin Barnett has every reason to cheer the goals set out for the national commission of audit, but it’s follow-through that counts.

Liberals on the money

Well behind the Liberal Party when it comes to fund raising, state Labor needs to rethink its strategies.

Asset sales gather steam

The sale of state assets will always be unpopular with some sections of the community.

Spotlight on Serco following escape

Taxpayers are entitled to know exactly what went wrong when two prisoners escaped from Geraldton Airport under Serco's watch.

Memo Barnett: beware Senate vote

Federal and state issues will intersect sharply in Western Australian politics over the next few months because of uncertainty over whether a new half Senate election will be ordered following the debacle over last September's poll.

Work ahead of new-look cabinet

Colin Barnett needs his new-look cabinet to hit the ground running in the New Year.

Trainer wheels need some oil

The honeymoon period for the coalition government, if indeed there was one, is over.

Assets sales to plug budget leaks

The state government is running the rule over assets for sale early next year.

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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.

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.