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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.

Abbott needs to outline IR plan

Former premier Richard Court has thrown down the gauntlet to a future coalition federal government on the issue of industrial relations.

Court and Porter sound the alarm

Commonwealth-state funding arrangements could become an even bigger issue if the coalition wins government next year.

‘Go-hard early’ plan may backfire

The Liberals’ decision to play the man has upped the ante in what’s likely to be a spirited state election campaign.

Politics makes toll roads a no go

Some in politics may support the introduction of toll roads, but no party is likely to embrace it publicly.

Politics outweighs logic on GST

If Colin Barnett was hoping for a few sweeteners during Joe Hockey’s visit last week, he may have been left with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Ministers’ advice falls on deaf ears

The parallels with the emerging industrial climate and that which prevailed in the 1970s and 1980s are clear.

Barnett goes for a fresh new look

The premier has spruced up his cabinet as the government prepares to go on an election footing.

‘Saving’ RPH a costly exercise

Downgrading long-established metropolitan hospitals carries significant political risk.

Premier rebuffed in Churchlands

The premier may wish to stand aside from preselection battles following the outcome in Churchlands.

Porter makes most of the timing

But not all Liberals are enamoured with the move. One told me “it was not a good look”.

Libs in crisis management mode

Spotfires are springing up all over the place for the state government; not quite the calm control needed as an election nears.

McGowan keen to be different

Mark McGowan is setting his strategy in place to tackle the government in the lead-up to the next state election.

McGowan buys into GST fight

The parties are playing it safe in order to seek a better deal in the GST carve up. Let the games begin.

Game on for Barnett, McGowan

Next month’s state budget has taken on a fresh significance after a new poll reveals a resurgent Labor party.

Gillard faces tough fight in WA

Julia Gillard jets in for an exclusive fund-raising dinner next week, which will be a test of her fence-mending skills.

Gloves come off for state poll

Colin Barnett certainly does not want blame for the Commonwealth’s share (of energy price rises) lumped on to him as well in a pre-election year.

Porter hits out at car support

Politics wins over practicality every time when industry puts its hand out for government support.

Conservative cabal at COAG ’12

The political landscape has changed significantly since the last COAG meeting.

No free kick as Swan puts boot in

Wayne Swan probably isn’t surprised by the response to his comments on a handful of Australia’s wealthiest individuals.

Porter keeping his powder dry

The state government’s on track to loosen the strings on Treasury reserves when it needs to – before the next election.

Gillard needs to get on front foot

Uncertainty the only sure bet throughout 2012 as Labor shows faith in Julia Gillard.

Barnett should stick to basics

The premier should concentrate on the job at hand rather than worry about possible Labor candidates.

Leadership talk hurting Labor

The prime minister would do well to flush Kevin Rudd’s leadership ‘challenge’ into the open.

Text harasser needs better advice

If the premier has trouble keeping his staffers on the right track ... maybe he has too many of them.

State’s electoral battlelines drawn

New Labor leader Mark McGowan wants to paint the government as being out of touch with the electorate.

New blood, local heroes needed

New state Labor leader Mark McGowan has his work cut out to win next year’s election.

Labor needs leadership, direction

A fresh coat of paint won’t cut it with the voters ... Labor needs to reconnect with the public on policy issues.

Barnett faces cost test on stadium

Colin Barnett left a nagging doubt about the ultimate cost of the project. And that, in the end, could prove to be the real barbecue stopper.

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.

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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.