Mark McGowan and Labor have won a massive victory in Saturday’s state election, without question one of the most stunning in the party’s history in Western Australia.
Even though there is a long way to go before the dust of the election settles, the Labor party’s factions are hard at work deciding who they will put into the new state cabinet. In fact, they were horse trading weeks ago.
But that’s politics. In the Labor party ministers are elected by the factions, whereas in the Liberal party they hand-picked by the leader.
The new premier is one of only six serving shadow ministers with any ministerial experience.
Of the twenty shadow ministers Mr McGowan could be carrying into government, only two – Mr McGowan himself and police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts – have experience in senior portfolios, not including prominent politician Alannah MacTiernan, who returns to the upper house in May and would be expecting a front-bench guernsey.
One of the state Labor politicians with ministerial experience is Mandurah MP David Templeman.
Templeman wins Mandurah. WATCH:
He serves as Mark McGowan’s shadow minister for Local Government, volunteering, heritage and the Peel region.
Before that he held the ministries of the environment, community development, child protection, and assisted the minister for planning and infrastructure when Labor was last in government.
He was also minister for the Peel region.
Although Mr Templeman has been aligned to Labor’s union-dominated left faction, he has never been a warrior for its causes. There are other factional warlords who will be looking to leapfrog over him for a shot at the perks that come with a ministerial office.
But Mark McGowan needs David Templeman.
He would be hard pressed finding a better local member in Labor ranks than Mandurah’s and his government will need all the political skill it can get, especially as so many ministers will be more than a little green.
And let’s be frank. Having Mr Templeman at the cabinet table representing Peel will be good for the region.
Mr Templeman has said during the campaign that a Labor government would offer the Peel “its time to shine”.
In 2008, when Mr Templeman was last in office as the minister for Peel, there was no Royalties for Regions, but Labor will now have the money in the bank to improve the region.
Mark McGowan should do the right thing and insist Labor’s factions put David Templeman at the front of the ministerial queue.
He can expect the community of the Peel region to kick up if they decide to leave Mr Templeman out in the cold.