December 15, 2017
Hon Colin Barnett
The announcement today by Colin Barnett, former Premier, Liberal leader and the Member for Cottesloe, marks the end of a remarkable career and an opportunity to reflect on a magnificent contribution to Western Australia which will have a lasting impact for decades to come.
History will recognise Colin Barnett for transforming Western Australia into a dynamic, modern, progressive and cosmopolitan state that all Western Australians can be proud of.
He will be remembered for delivering major infrastructure projects including Elizabeth Quay, the sinking of the railway line dividing the city and Northbridge, the world-class Perth Stadium, the new Perth Children’s Hospital, the Gateway project, Forrestfield Airport Link and the many new schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure around the state.
He will be remembered as the Premier who facilitated the job creating and economy transforming Gorgon and Wheatstone projects.
He should also be remembered as a progressive and reforming social services Premier.
Mr Barnett made significant inroads to settling the largest Native Title Claim in Australia with the South West Aboriginal Land and Seas Council and facilitated the recognition of Aboriginal people as the first people of Australia into our WA Constitution.
He established Australia’s first mental health minister, making the biggest ever injection of funding into the not-for-profit sector and invested in record levels in health, education, police, mental health, child protection and disability services – all this in the context of the global financial crisis and record migration to the state. In particular, the State has benefited from Colin’s passion for education with the establishment of State funded kindy and pre-primary for all WA kids and child and parent centres to ensure the early years of education are given the best support.
Colin’s contribution to public life and public service in Western Australia is substantial. He was successful in his tireless efforts throughout his time in Parliament, and before, to make the great state of Western Australia even better.
Colin was elected the Member for Cottesloe in 1990 and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and a senior minister in the Court Government from 1993-2001, holding the portfolios of Resources Development, Energy, Education and Tourism. From 2001 to 2005 he was Leader of the State Opposition.
Colin resumed the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2008 and led the Party to a remarkable and historic victory, albeit minority government in partnership with the National Party and some Independents.
That victory was a turning point for Western Australia. Over the last eight years, our state has transformed to become a vibrant, mature and modern city in the Asia Pacific and the world.
All Liberals should be proud of the contribution Colin made as Premier and grateful for the commitment he made to the Party and the State over nearly three decades.
We thank Colin, his wife Lyn and the Barnett family for their commitment, hard work and significant contribution to our state and we wish them well for the future.
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