Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has announced a refreshed state cabinet, including a new Minister for Mines and Petroleum and Minster for Small Business.
Announcing the cabinet reshuffle Mr Barnett said three new Ministers, two new Parliamentary Secretaries and 11 portfolio changes “is a significant reshuffle” and “gives the public an indication as to the sort of Cabinet that will govern Western Australia should we be re-elected next year.”
With three new faces in the new cabinet, Churchlands MLA, Sean L’Estrange has been promoted to Minister for Mines and Petroleum and Minister for Small Business, replacing Bill Marmion who will leave the post of Mines and Petroleum Minister to take over as Minister for State Development.
Mr L’Estrange has been an active member of parliament since his election to the seat of Churchlands in 2013. He is currently the chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.
Before entering parliament, Mr L’Estrange established his own management consulting practice in Perth, and served his country as an Army Lieutenant Colonel in Afghanistan. The Cabinet will be sworn in on Thursday morning.
APPEA welcomes new WA Mines and Petroleum Minister
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomed the appointment of Mr L’Estrange as Minister for Mines and Petroleum.
APPEA Chief Operating Officer Western Region Stedman Ellis said Mr L’Estrange’s appointment comes at a critical time for the oil and gas industry.
“While the low oil price presents significant challenges for companies and projects, the outlook for Western Australia remains bright,” Mr Ellis said.
“Australia is set to become the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of the decade thanks, in part, to new WA projects such as Gorgon, Wheatstone and Prelude,” Mr Ellis said.
“The challenge for governments and industry is to ensure we stay competitive in an increasingly tough global market.
“We now have a tremendous opportunity to convert the state’s onshore natural gas resources into long term prosperity.
“It is vital, therefore, that the new Minister focuses on policies that ensure access to resources, encourage exploration and reduce unnecessary red and green tape.”
Mr Ellis said Mr L’Estrange’s pedecessor, Mr Marmion had made a significant contribution to the industry during his three years in the Mines and Petroleum portfolio, including major improvements to onshore gas regulation.
“We look forward to working with Minister Marmion in his new role to attract new investment and jobs to Western Australia,” Mr Ellis said.