Premier Colin Barnett and his deputy Kim Hames have received a rock star welcome at an ecstatic Liberal Party room meeting at Parliament House.
Mr Barnett told his party today during its first formal meeting since its emphatic March 9 election win that it had “created history” in WA.
“The two party preferred vote of the Liberal party at 58 per cent was the highest two-party preferred vote in the post-war period,” he said.
“A great result and congratulations.”
The Premier permitted media to attend the first few minutes of the meeting, during which new MPs Dean Nalder (Alfred Cove), Sean L’Estrange (Churchlands), Chris Hatton (Balcatta), Matt Taylor (Bateman) and Jan Norberger (Joondalup) were introduced and welcomed.
But the biggest cheers were reserved for Eleni Evangel and Glenys Godfrey, who were elected in the previously Labor strongholds of Perth and Belmont.
Mr Barnett told the party room the Liberal Party could “technically” govern by itself but it would instead govern in partnership with the National Party.
“And the reason we won’t, there can be many reasons, but I think we can rightly claim to have been a good Government during our first term, we were ethical, we made decisions and we had a broad policy agenda,” he said.
“We were strong on the economy, strong on major infrastructure projects and at all times we were a caring and compassionate Government for those in need.”
Earlier outside Parliament, Mr Barnett said he would announce some changes to his second term cabinet before the end of the week but he was yet to finalise the changes.
He said he had worked out how many portfolios the Nationals would be getting but declined to elaborate.
The Nationals, who occupied three cabinet positions and the speaker’s role when they held the balance of power during the last term of government, were having their own separate party room meeting this morning.
Leader Brendon Grylls, who has been quiet since election night when he successfully switched from Central Wheatbelt to Pilbara, told reporters on the way in to Parliament it was up to the Premier how many cabinet seats the Nationals were given.
Mr Grylls declined to speculate on whether he would retain the regional development portfolio, but party colleague Vince Catania said Mr Grylls “absolutely” should.
Mr Catania said he would be disappointed if the position was given to a Liberal.
“I think the people of regional WA voted for the National Party and they voted for Brendon to be regional development minister and the Premier should adhere to those wishes,” Mr Catania said.
“We’ll get what we get. Unfortunately we don’t hold the balance of power and we’ll see what happens.”
Nationals MP Wendy Duncan, who switched from the Upper House to the Lower House seat of Kalgoorlie and is considered an outside chance to be speaker, indicated she would rather a different position.
“I’d think I would probably prefer something where I can be involved in policy or making a difference in regional WA,” she said.
Mt Lawley Liberal MP Michael Sutherland said he would like to be speaker.Darling Range MP Tony Simpson said he would like to remain Government whip “or maybe move up the food chain”.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.