18/03/2008 - 11:37

McHale to retire after 12 years in parliament

18/03/2008 - 11:37

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Following Swan Hills backbencher Jaye Radisich's announcement last week, WA Culture and Arts Minister Sheila McHale is the second female Labor MP to announce her resignation from parliament, effective from the next state election.

Following Swan Hills backbencher Jaye Radisich's announcement last week, WA Culture and Arts Minister Sheila McHale is the second female Labor MP to announce her resignation from parliament, effective from the next state election.

Her retirement comes as several major arts projects await completion, including a new half billion dollar state museum and a new performing arts centre.

 

The annoucement is pasted below:

 

Western Australia's minister for tourism, culture and the arts, Sheila McHale, has announced she will retire from parliament at the next election.

Ms McHale was elected to the then-metropolitan Perth seat of Thornlie in 1996 and in 2001, became a minister in the then premier Geoff Gallop's first cabinet.

Ms McHale today said after 12 years in politics, it was time for new challenges.

"The time for me is right, there are opportunities for me in this great state and I'll pursue those," she told reporters.

The minister would not say what she would do next but said she had no regrets.

She said one of her greatest challenges had been in the area of child protection when she served as community development and disability services minister.

It was during the time she held that portfolio that 11-month-old baby Wade Scale died, drowned in a bathtub at his home in Perth on July 30, 2003 with diazepam, an adult prescription sedative, in his blood.

The scandal surrounding the baby's death contributed to the establishment of a stand-alone department for child protection.

"One of the most complex areas ... and I had five years to really work through the legislation, to increase the resources, to look at what was systematically wrong and to painfully set about improving the foundations of that department," Ms McHale said.

Premier Alan Carpenter today paid tribute to his outgoing minister for the various portfolios she has held including also indigenous affairs and women's interests.

"She will be able to point to some very significant achievements," Mr Carpenter said.

"This (performing arts) theatre will stand for generations, the museum, and a big boost to funding people with disabilities among other things."

The next state election is due to be held early next year and Ms McHale will continue in her ministerial roles until then.

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