Western Australian Premier Barnett Says No Leadership Challenge

  • Second minister quits over weekend in protest at Barnett
  • Resignations appear to be orchestrated, says Barnett

Western Australia state Premier Colin Barnett says he’s unaware of any leadership challenge after the resignation of two ministers from his government.

While the resignations appeared orchestrated, there would only be a leadership spill if there was a challenge, Barnett said during a press conference in Perth broadcast on Sky News. He was “extremely disappointed” that neither minister informed him of their resignations in person.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder became the second lawmaker to resign from Cabinet, following Local Government Minister Tony Simpson, who quit yesterday, the Sunday Times reported on its website. Nalder, who may contest the party leadership if the position is declared vacant, became frustrated and withdrew his support after “erratic and illogical” decisions taken without consultation with ministers, he said, according to the newspaper.

“There is no challenger to my knowledge and there has been no challenger to my leadership in over eight years,” Barnett said. “I am the leader, I am the premier of Western Australia and I intend to stay there. You only have a spill motion if there is a challenger.”