Bar­nett: I could still be MP

Western Suburbs Weekly - - State Election ‘17 - By JON BASSETT

Bar­nett PRE­MIER Colin Bar­nett has said he could stay on as Cottes­loe’s MP even if he de­cides to step down as pre­mier at some point dur­ing a third term.

“What I’ve said is I’ll step down as Pre­mier I didn’t say I’d step down as mem­ber for Cottes­loe,” Mr Bar­nett told the Western Sub- urbs Weekly last week.

“That’s an­other con­sid­er­a­tion.”

This elec­tion is Mr Bar­nett’s third tilt at the State’s top job af­ter a sur­prise win in 2008 and he has seen five changes of prime min­is­ter.

They in­clude Tony Ab­bott, Kevin Rudd and Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, who all cre­ated un­cer­tainty by go­ing to the back­benches af­ter the lead­er­ship role.

Mr Bar­nett de­nied he would recre­ate that un­cer­tainty.

“I’m stand­ing for elec­tion for Cottes­loe,” he said.

“My po­si­tion as Pre­mier is the one I’m pre­pared to dis­cuss.”

He still favoured deputy leader Lisa Har­vey hav­ing about two years as pre­mier or party leader, de­pend­ing on the elec­tion’s out­come, be­fore the 2021 poll.

Asked if he would like a woman to re­place him in Cottes­loe, Mr Bar­nett said any even­tual can­di­date would be a mat­ter for his Lib­eral party’s se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

“I’m go­ing to be around for a good while yet,” he said.

Suc­cess of his pro­posed 51 per cent sale of Western Power for a mooted $11 bil­lion, po­ten­tially pro­vid­ing $3 bil­lion for any Lib­eral leader to spend on schools and in­fra­struc­ture, would not trig­ger his de­par­ture.

“Western Power is a fi­nan­cial ne­ces­sity, but Western Power is not my burn­ing am­bi­tion,” Mr Bar­nett said.

He said his in­ter­est was lead­ing WA through a chang­ing econ­omy with a ma­ture min­ing in­dus­try, and de­vel­op­ing agri­cul­ture, tourism and science.

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