WA Liberals are urging Colin Barnett to embark on a wider Cabinet reshuffle than he has publicly foreshadowed, in order to put the State Government on an election footing and change the perception it is a "one-man band".
Christian Porter's shock resignation as Treasurer and Attorney-General ahead of a bid to win the Federal seat of Pearce has forced a reshuffle on the Premier but he insisted this week he did not intend to make sweeping changes, emphasising "stability".
This has been widely interpreted within Liberal circles to mean that the Premier's current thinking is to bring Upper House MP Michael Mischin, a lawyer, into the Cabinet as Attorney-General, with Treasury going to Troy Buswell.
But such a "minimalist" reshuffle would do nothing, Liberal insiders say, to inject new blood, leaving the Government vulnerable to charges it has no talent beyond Mr Barnett and a handful of ministers.
Liberal MPs are also increasingly critical of the prospect of going to the March 2013 election with retiring Independent MP Liz Constable as Education Minister and, to a lesser extent, Norman Moore as Mines and Fisheries Minister.
"The Premier keeps saying we've got lots of talent. Well, now is the obvious time to give it a go," one MP said.
Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey and Riverton MLA Mike Nahan are names being bandied about as candidates ripe for promotion, as well as Upper House MP Donna Farragher, who resigned from Cabinet in late 2010 to have a baby.
However, Mr Mischin's ascent would appear to complicate Ms Farragher's return due to the balance between Upper and Lower House ministers, unless Mr Moore can be convinced to stand down early.
It is believed that if Mr Buswell takes over as Treasurer, he would like to retain Transport.
Meanwhile, chef Kate Lamont's political future could be decided today when preselectors in the party's Curtin division meet to choose their nominee for Churchlands.
Former army Lt-Col Sean L'Estrange is another strong candidate but party sources were reluctant to pick a winner yesterday.
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