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Carpenter elected WA Labor leader -

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(generated from captions) put that report together. Returning to politics now And, as of tonight, there's a new face on the scene. Alan Carpenter was endorsed by his caucus colleagues today as Labor's new leader in Western Australia. He'll be sworn in tomorrow as premier and he promises to be a very different kind of political animal to the man he replaces, Geoff Gallop, who resigned suddenly last week citing depression. Alan Carpenter, in politics for 10 years and before that a television journalist, is by any measure a lucky man. He's been elected unopposed and he now has stewardship of the most prosperous state in the country. The West is booming. So how does Alan Carpenter see his role in maintaining. and perhaps even extending. the bounty? I spoke to the premier-elect a short time ago from our studio in Perth.

Alan Carpenter, first of all,

congratulations. Thanks very much,

Maxine. Thank you. I think it is

fair to say this certainly wouldn't

be the way you would have expected

to start this year, is it?

to start this year, is it? Certainly not the way. What, a week ago I was

at the tail end of a 4-week-long

holiday in Europe with my wife and

four daughters and the last six

four daughters and the last six days have been unbelievable. So in the

time you've had to think about this,

what do you want to do with this

what do you want to do with this job now? Well,I want to do a good job

for a start. I want to maintain the

momentum this Galloway dwal has had

with us. We're a good State

Government. We've done a good job.

He's recognised as being a

He's recognised as being a reforming Premier. We've managed the state's

finances very well with the

Treasurer. We had a big agen d with

education and training and we've a

good reform in health and other areas plan g

areas planning and infrastructure

and I want to maintain that

and I want to maintain that momentum and the respect for our state Labor

Government. Given the history in WA

that's very important that we don't

now drop the ball. It is very

important to me. I owe a lot of of grat #250ud

important to me. I owe a lot of debt of gratitude to a lot of people and

I must make sure I don't let

I must make sure I don't let anybody down. It's exciting because I'm

taking over at a good time and

premiers take over midterm when it

is not such a good time so I'm

fortunate that way. You are

fortunate that way. You are sounding like you are saying a line in the

editoral of'The Australian'. Given

the inheritance of the boom state

conditions Mr Carpenter's main

challenge, said'The Australian', is

not to stuff things up. Sounds like

you agree with that? I was more

interested in the consider toon

interested in the consider toon ofmy wife and myself in'The Australian'

today. I saw the editorial and it's

dead right T other thing is it is

important to keep in mind , you've

got to keep a sense of perspective

at state level. It's not a

revolutionary role you are playing.

You are there to deliver thins to

people through education and

training, to assist business to

developers pos pebts and manage the

environment properly, the police.

You're there to deliver good

services and to create good

opportunities for people and we

opportunities for people and we have been and we will continue to be.

I wonder if you started to think

about the limitations of the job as

well? Particularly at a time when

federalism really is being

redefined, isn't it? The

Commonwealth makes something of a

grab for power in terms of

industrial relations, education and

perhaps more things down the track.

How do you see this? It's a

rebalancing of the Federal compact,

isn't it? It is. I spent furriers

isn't it? It is. I spent furriers as Minister for Education and training

and that issue was alive there and

affected the way you could do

affected the way you could do things in education and training at a

in education and training at a state level. It's a major political,

level. It's a major political, major structural issue this confronts

Australia at the moment. How much

Australia at the moment. How much do state's seed in their independence

and their capacity to do things

their own way to the Commonwealth

and by what, if anything, what

mechanism does the Commonwealth

force itself into that space which

is traditionally been the reserve

is traditionally been the reserve of the states? Look, at the moment,

the states? Look, at the moment, for example, if you take education and

training the Commonwealthiouses its

financial muscle to get its own way,

to try and force an agenda. In

industrial relations, they're using

a legal strategy to come in and try

and you surp the role that's been

there support the states. Part of

the argument about the Howard

industrial relations reform is

industrial relations reform is about that very issue, about taking over

the role of the stits. It's an

the role of the stits. It's an issue this confronts us. So what is there

to do about it? There's a

respectable body of opinion that

really says once this issue goes to

the High Court, the the High Court

is more than likely to decide in

favour of the Commonwealth and

favour of the Commonwealth and we've already seen the Attorney-General

quoted in the paper this morning,

Philip Ruddock, is opining about

what the consequences could be from

this, a Commonwealth grab in other

areas? I saw those remarks from

Philip Ruddock in the newspaper as

well. What you do about it is what

the states are trying to deabout it.

They high light the issue for a

start. You highlight the issue and

if it's a matter of taking the

challenge to the High Court to

resist, and that's a possibility,

then you do that. You argue your

case in the forerups with the

Commonwealth, but importantly there

is a political solution to it.

Governments, state and Commonwealth,

get elected and if the states and

the State Governments can convince

the people in their state that what

the Commonwealth government is

the Commonwealth government is doing is not in their best interests,

is not in their best interests, then that Commonwealth Government runs

the risk of being voted out of

office. There are different ways of

approaching this issue. There's the

political issue, the political

strategy, there's the public

relations strategy which marries

into it and then obviously there's

the legal approach and you've got

the legal approach and you've got to push all three. If I could turn for

a moment to, say, personal style.

a moment to, say, personal style. If people around the country are

saying, "What is this bloke going

saying, "What is this bloke going to be like?"Are you in the Beattie

mould or back brook mild or are you

going to surprise us? Look, both of

those premiers are very successful

and very different. I think it's a

flish thing to try and emulate

someone who is performing well in

another state. I will be moist. I

will be myself. I won't change.

will be myself. I won't change. What I am and how I perform in

I am and how I perform in government and the style I've get in

and the style I've get in government will emerge, for people who don't

know me, most people in Western

Australia probably have an idea

anyway. I won't be trying to

anyway. I won't be trying to emulate anyone else. One criticism that

anyone else. One criticism that does come through from your colleagues

come through from your colleagues is you're not particularly co loej jet.

Is this fair criticism and will you

address that in It's not completely

unfair. This is the scenario: I

unfair. This is the scenario: I was recruited by the Labor Party

recruited by the Labor Party because I offered some public profile. I

I offered some public profile. I was given an easy ride into politics. I

got into the Karbala Net very

got into the Karbala Net very easily and I haven't had to develop the

traditional, I suppose, networks

traditional, I suppose, networks and so on within the party. I've worked

on that basis. It was one of the

reasons why the Labor Party wanted

me because I didn't have to do

me because I didn't have to do those things. Now, in this role, as

Premier, you do have do those

Premier, you do have do those things and I will do them. And retain, if

and I will do them. And retain, if y like, your own integrity and stay

true to us? Yeah. My last question:

do you think it's possible to be a

public political performer and tell

the truth? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Would you like to be the politician

that you in your former life as a

journalist could strait answers

from? Did I get any? Look, I want

from? Did I get any? Look, I want to be - I will be straight with people

and if people think I'm independent,

they'll make their own judgements,

but I will be straight with people

and do as I have always done - try

to tell it lick it is. Alan

Carpenter, for that, thank you very

much, indeed. Thanks, Maxine. Thank

you. And Alan Carpenter is formally