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Libby Mettam, Zak Kirkup and Tjorn Sibma were all major players in the WA Liberals shadow cabinet re-shuffle.

Who’s who in the WA Liberals reshuffle

New Opposition Leader Liza Harvey has wasted little time shaking up her leadership team, promoting younger faces and women to key portfolios.

The re-shaping of the shadow cabinet comes a little more than a fortnight after Ms Harvey replaced Mike Nahan as leader of the WA Liberals.

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, who has one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts in WA politics, received a big promotion to shadow minster for health. Vasse MP Libby Mettam has also been rewarded for her strong performances with an appointment as shadow minster for transport.

Other new faces stepping to the forefront  in the reshuffle include last year’s Darling Range byelection winner MP Alyssa Hayden, who takes on the positions of opposition whip and shadow minster for tourism, and Carine MP Tony Krsticevic, who takes on a new portfolio as shadow minster for homelessness. Upper House MP Tjorn Sibma will add ports to his current responsibilities (government accountability and procurement, public sector integrity and performance, and veterans Issues), while deputy opposition leader Bill Marmion keeps mines and petroleum, but also adds local government.

Mr Kirkup, Ms Mettam and Mr Sibma have all been guests on Cannings Purple’s political interview show, The Bench.

Dr Nahan will stay close to the frontline in taking on the roles of shadow minister for planning and shadow minister for Asian engagement. Sean L’Estrange, who loses his health portfolio, takes on the role of shadow minister for corrective services.

Among those unaffected by the shuffle, Dean Nalder retains his portfolios of finance, treasury and energy, Michael Mischin retains the role of shadow attorney-general, Donna Faragher keeps education and training and David Honey remains in the water portfolio.

Peter Collier stays on as opposition leader in the upper house and shadow disability services minister but takes on a new role co-ordinating opposition policy development in the lead-up to the 2021 State Election. This role, as well as the reshuffle, is another strong signal that the Opposition is well and truly in campaign mode ahead of that poll in March 2021.

Cannings Purple’s bipartisan Government Relations team always advises clients to build relationships with both opposition and government. If your company has a project that will take three to five years to complete, it makes sense to brief the relevant opposition spokesperson, as well as the current government minister and their advisers. Within a couple of years, it’s possible those roles could be reversed.

Politicians in opposition appreciate hearing from businesses which take the time and make the effort to develop a connection. Everyone wants to be friends with a newly-elected government but a new premier and ministers will remember who talked to them about projects before they were voted in.

The lead-up to an election is a hectic time to be engaging with politicians. In an ideal world, you will have established relationships with key players of all political persuasions before campaigning begins.

The next WA Election is 20 months away but today’s Liberal leadership shuffle is further evidence that campaign thinking has well and truly started.

Your time to engage has already started.

Full shadow ministry:

Hon Liza Harvey MLA
Leader of the Opposition; shadow minister for public sector management; state development; jobs and trade; federal-state relations; citizenship & multicultural affairs

Hon Bill Marmion MLA
Deputy leader of the Opposition; shadow minister for mines and petroleum; local government; defence issues; science

Hon Peter Collier MLC
Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council; shadow minister for disability services; LC opposition policy co-ordinator

Hon Michael Mischin MLC
Deputy leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council; shadow attorney general; shadow minister for commerce; heritage; culture and the arts

Zak Kirkup MLA
Manager of opposition business; shadow minister for health; mental health; innovation & disruptive technologies

Dean Nalder MLA
Shadow treasurer; shadow minister for finance; energy

Sean L’Estrange MLA
Shadow minister for corrective services; housing

Hon Donna Faragher MLC
Shadow minister for education and training; women’s interests

Hon Mike Nahan MLA
Shadow minister for planning; Asian engagement

Peter Katsambanis MLA
Shadow minister for police; road safety; industrial relations

Hon Nick Goiran MLC
Shadow minister for child protection; prevention of family and domestic violence

Libby Mettam MLA
Shadow minister for transport; shadow minister assisting the leader

John McGrath MLA
Shadow minister for racing and gaming; sport and recreation

Ian Blayney MLA
Shadow minister for lands; Aboriginal affairs; fisheries

Hon Jim Chown MLC
Shadow minister for agriculture & food; regional development; royalties for regions

Tony Krsticevic MLA
Shadow minister for community services; youth; special shadow minister for homelessness

Hon Simon O’Brien MLC
Deputy president of the Legislative Council; chair of committees; shadow minister for electoral affairs

Hon Ken Baston MLC
Opposition whip in the Legislative Council; shadow minister for northern Australia

Hon Steve Thomas MLC
Shadow minister for environment; emergency services; forestry

Hon Tjorn Sibma MLC
Shadow minister for ports; government accountability and procurement; public sector integrity and performance (shadow minister assisting the leader for public sector management); veterans Issues

Kyran O’Donnell MLA
Shadow minister for seniors and ageing; volunteering

David Honey MLA
Shadow minister for water; industrial development; LA opposition policy co-ordinator

Alyssa Hayden MLA
Opposition whip in the Legislative Assembly; shadow minister for tourism; small business.

Canning’s Purple’s Government Relations team members are experts at engaging with politicians and government departments – if you need help, contact one of the team.

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