Baker snubbed

MAYLANDS Labor MP Lisa Baker is “very disappointed” to have missed out on a post in Mark McGowan’s reshuffled shadow ministry.

In her first four-year term the former chief of peak welfare body WACOSS cemented herself as a strong local MP, helping stop Coles from opening a liquor barn in Maylands, highlighting congestion on the Midlands line and drafting an animal welfare policy.

On March 9 she lost just 1.2 per cent of Labor’s primary vote, with the bulk of the Liberals’ 8.7 per cent primary swing coming from the Greens.

The United Voice union sub-group of Labor’s Left faction was allotted five spots and all but one—Sue Ellery—went to men. The union’s membership has many more female than male members.

“Where is the renewal and the gender equity?” Ms Baker asks. “I’m very disappointed but I will regroup and focus on serving my electorate, which I believe I have done well in my first term.

“Lots of things can change in four years.”

Notre Dame political lecturer Martin Drum says Ms Baker is justified in feeling hard done by.

“Lisa Baker’s omission should indeed disappoint her, as a number of other second-term MPs such as Rita Saffioti and Chris Tallentire were promoted and she was not.

“She came from a high-profile role before she entered parliament and was regarded as ministerial material when she was pre-selected.”

Mr McGowan’s 19-strong shadow cabinet has six women and five new faces.

Premier Colin Barnett’s 17-strong ministry has just two women in it.


VINCENT mayor Alannah MacTiernan says the Voice has painted her as having a gripe with her beloved Labor party over its treatment of women (“Where are the women?” Voice, Saturday March 23, 2013) when it’s not the case.
The former planning minister says her comments about “the party machine” discriminating against women weren’t a criticism of Labor as much as a critique of politics as a whole. She says, for example, when she first won a seat in WA’s upper house (before later moving downstairs) she was gobsmacked at the behaviour and language both sides of parliament got away with in the chamber.


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