Alan Carpenter "effectively" new Western Australian Premier

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Alan Carpenter, who - according to the WA Labor Party - will be elected unopposed as the new Premier of Western Australia, following the shock resignation of Premier Dr Geoff Gallop

Western Australian Energy Minister Alan Carpenter has confirmed he will become Western Australia's next state Premier.

The top job became vacant following Premier Geoff Gallop's shock resignation on Monday 16th January. Contender Police Minister Michelle Roberts has withdrawn from the leadership race, saying Mr Carpenter has her support.

Speaking in Perth today, Labor powerbroker Jim McGinty said Mr Carpenter was now "effectively" the WA premier, putting an end to a week of speculation about jockeying for the role.

"We were all shocked and saddened by Dr Gallop's announcement on Monday but to have a new premier by the end of the week is as smooth (a transition) as you could hope for," Mr McGinty said today.

Mr Carpenter will now be elected unopposed when caucus meets on Tuesday. WA Attorney-General and former Labor leader Mr McGinty says Mr Carpenter will make a great premier but it is important he does not change too much.

"In my experience when people start to try to change their appearance or their personality is when they fail," he said. "I'm sure Alan Carpenter will remain Alan Carpenter."

Alan Carpenter was born in Albany, Western Australia, on January 4 1957. After graduating from the University of Western Australia with an Arts degree (politics) in 1979, he began a career as a journalist with the Albany Advertiser newspaper. He has worked for TVW Channel 7, Perth and also ABC TV as a State political reporter.

In 1992, he became the 7.30 Report's Presenter in WA and later presented the ABC's Stateline program. In April 1996, he resigned from the ABC and gained ALP endorsement for new state seat of Willagee. He won the seat in December 1996.

Mr Carpenter has held the Shadow portfolios of Disability Services, Sport & Recreation, Family & Children's Services, Education and Drugs. He became Minister for Education, Sport & Recreation and Indigenous Affairs in February 2001. He became the Minister for Education and Training in June 2003. Following the Gallop Government’s re-election in February 2005, he became the Minister for State Development and Energy.

Mr Carpenter said he had been well schooled for the leadership position by Dr Gallop, who shocked parliament on Monday with the announcement he was quitting to battle depression.

"I was a huge supporter of Geoff, he was an outstanding premier and to match that would be no easy feat," Mr Carpenter said.