16/09/2008 - 12:28

Ripper elected ALP leader

16/09/2008 - 12:28

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Former treasurer Eric Ripper has been elected leader of the Western Australian Labor Party, two days after former leader Alan Carpenter resigned from the post.

Former treasurer Eric Ripper has been elected leader of the Western Australian Labor Party, two days after former leader Alan Carpenter resigned from the post.

At a Labor Party meeting this morning, Mr Ripper was elected unopposed with no other nominees.

Former infrastructure and planning minister Alanna McTiernan, who had been tipped as a possible challenger to Mr Ripper, emerged from the meeting to say she had indicated she was willing to take up the position.

But she said she did not nominate once it was clear she did not have the numbers.

Incoming Kwinana MP Roger Cook has been elected deputy leader, party spokesman Kim Chance said.

He said Mr Ripper was the unanimous choice of the caucus and was seen as a "safe pair of hands".

"Opposition requires steadiness and it requires unity and clearly the ALP caucus made the decision that Eric Ripper would be better placed to supply the kind of unity that has been so obviously missing from the Liberal party over the last four years," he said.

"We're not going to fall into the same trap, what you're going to find in our team is a team that's ready to govern next month, if we have to, and we may have to."

Mr Chance, a former agriculture minister, said there was no vote for the opposition leader's position but there had been a contest for the deputy's job.

He would not give details of the vote for deputy, saying only that Mr Cook was a 20-year member of the Australian Labor Party and a former party president.

Former education minister Mark McGowan emerged from the meeting to reveal he had contested the deputy's job.

Asked by reporters if he had challenged for the job, Mr McGowan said: "Yeah, I did, that's politics."

The legislative council will be led by former minister Sue Ellery and her deputy will be Kate Doust.

 

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