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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.

Value for money on public purse

Eliminating waste on major state infrastructure projects is a challenge for government on both sides of politics.

All bets off, asset sales on

Asset sales are expected to feature heavily when the Barnett government releases its budget in May.

Barnett holds the key

The premier’s ‘follow-me’ style makes his performance in the lead-up to the next state poll vital for the government’s chances of re-election.

Labor faces moment of truth

Melissa Parke’s decision to stand aside at the next federal election poses some issues for the Labor Party in Fremantle.

Nahan must get back to basics

The May budget looms as an important opportunity for the Barnett government to put its economic house in order.

Barnett’s toughest year, yet

The state government will be glad to put 2015 behind it, but there will be no let up in the financial and portfolio challenges it will face next year.

Tortuous path to law on lobbyists

Eight years in the making, tighter controls over lobbyists may finally become law.

Pressure mounts on state spending

The mid-December budget review will set the tone for state government spending cuts before the 2017 election.

Tensions remain over council change

The premier may be lining up for a second dig at local government reform.

Political marriage of convenience struggles through year seven

The Liberals’ alliance with the Nationals is increasingly fraying at the edges, as the junior partner asserts its will.

GST carve-up key for reform

Reform of the tax system will be hard to achieve if the states cannot agree to a restructure of the GST.

WA Labor faces factional fight

Simmering issues within WA Labor are set to come to a head.

Seat changes test allegiances

Federal and state electoral boundary redistributions can cause havoc in party ranks.

Reconstructing the Economic Narrative

Relentless optimism is a positive quality, as long as it’s based upon the evidence at hand.

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.

Barnett shifts funding focus

Colin Barnett has already got into Malcolm Turnbull’s ear about public transport infrastructure funding.

Parties unite against name changes

A plan to rename some WA Legislative Assembly seats has drawn fire from both sides of politics.

WA Libs hit high-water mark

Under new PM Malcolm Turnbull, WA has numbers in cabinet not seen since the Hawke-Keating era.

Turnbull brings business acumen

Malcolm Turnbull’s business experience and familiarity with WA could be a plus for this state.

Canning a psephologists’ nightmare

Despite the Liberals’ big margin in Canning, the government is taking nothing for granted as the by-election nears.

Perceptions count in politics

Governments must not only do the right thing, they must be seen to be doing the right thing.

CCI backs China FTA

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA says it will join the campaign to promote the proposed Chinese Free Trade Agreement, because it will provide significant benefits for locally based companies.

Barnett rates penalty chances

Colin Barnett has set the scene for an industrial stoush with his proposed changes to Sunday penalty rates.

Spotlight on Pilbara power failure

Not only did state funding for housing in the Pilbara come too late, when it did flow it was poorly targeted.

Nationals push for more MPs

The Nationals have gone against the grain to call for more seats in the upper house.

State puts councils on notice, again

After failing to implement its council amalgamation plan, the government is targeting funding arrangements.

Parties nervous over Canning poll

The Canning by-election will test the leadership of both the PM and opposition leader.

Absence of leadership at federal level

Political parties’ focus on the polls, and winning power for its own sake, have led to an absence of mature policy debate in Australia.

Congested transport battleground

It’s clear Labor will target Perth traffic congestion and the disruption caused by major works as an election issue.

Barnett’s mid-term malaise

The polls suggest Colin Barnett and his government are in some trouble ahead of the next election, but Labor has plenty of work to do.

Voting system under threat

Big cracks are opening in Australia’s compulsory voting system, and the major parties need to pay attention.

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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.

most commented

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.