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The rise and fall of a political king maker

Five days of balance-of-power negotiations in 2008 changed the fortunes of WA’s regions. They also etched the name of Brendon Grylls — king maker — on to the political landscape. Those talks allowed Mr Grylls to implement the $8 billion Royalties for Regions program, which redirects millions of dollars in royalties into a special fund quarantined for projects in country ...

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Libs eyed raid on party funds to match ad spend

A dejected Liberal support as the results rolled in. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times The WA Liberal Party was so short of election campaign funds that MPs floated the idea of raiding normally protected corporate holdings or even borrowing cash to fight against the onslaught of WA Labor and union advertising. WA Liberals State president Norman Moore confirmed that pleas ...

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Unused school pool is ludicrous, say parents

A $700,000 hydrotherapy pool installed at a southern suburbs public high school has hardly been used since it was finished nearly a year ago. The Education Department confirmed a 10m by 6m hydrotherapy pool for students with disabilities was completed at Byford Secondary College in June, but it said school staff did not have the training and accreditation to access ...

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Rockingham makes its mark as WA’s premier spot

Of all the words tossed around during the election campaign, there were four (five if you like to quibble) little nuggets from Mark McGowan that I happily still remember: “I’m a Rockingham dad”. Good on you, Mr Premier-elect, because I’m a Rockingham girl and it’s lovely that your landslide ascension to the State’s top office has thrown a bright light ...

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Friends, family mourn Mitchel Birkin, teen killed in Yarloop accident

A 19-year-old crane dogman has been killed on a construction site in the fire-ravaged town of Yarloop in what workmates believe was a freak accident. Family and friends of Mitchel Birkin yesterday paid tribute to him as a loving and hard-working young man as authorities began an inquiry into how a prefabricated wall panel collapsed on him on Monday. WorkSafe ...

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How to lose an election in 12 easy steps: deposed minister Joe Francis dumps on Liberal Party state election campaign

Dumped minister Joe Francis has delivered a scathing assessment of his colleagues and the Liberal Party as he considers life outside politics. Mr Francis has conceded his seat of Jandakot which was previously considered a Liberal stronghold. The West’s state political editor Gary Adshead has broken down the former Corrective Services minister’s blast, topic by topic: 1 COLIN BARNETT “I ...

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Mark McGowan catches train to work, minus security

He promised he would be the People’s Premier and Mark McGowan seems intent on living up to that pledge – catching the train to work three days after his landslide WA election result. Mr McGowan and his Labor Party swept to victory on Saturday night on a platform that was party anti-road (the Roe 8 extension) and pro public transport ...

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Joe Francis proves good manners cost nothing. And this bizarre phone call shows the ugly side of politics

It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, but how you play the game. Or so the old saying about sport goes. But when it comes to politics, losing can mean the end of a career, so you might expect that the reactions to defeat may be a little more incendiary than usual. Not so dumped minister and member for ...

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WA prisons need more psychiatrists, coroner rules

The Department of Corrective Services should consider investing “significantly more resources” into prisoners’ access to psychiatrists, according to coroner Sarah Linton. Ms Linton today released her findings into the deaths of two prisoners who took their own lives while behind bars. Barry Matt Stuart died at Hakea Prison in November 2013 after his prescription for the drug olanzapine expired. The ...

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