Parliament of Western Australia

Western Australia Premier, Roger Cook, has unveiled his Cabinet team ahead of the 2025 election, including a new Minister for Energy.

Reece Whitby will add Energy to his Environment and Climate Action portfolios, which Premier Cook said will allow him to spearhead Western Australia’s energy transition and drive the state’s future as a clean energy powerhouse.

Member for Victoria Park, Hannah Beazley, will enter the Cabinet as Minister for Local Government and Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Training and Workforce Development, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Bill Johnston.

Ms Beazley has served as a Parliamentary Secretary for the past 12 months and has considerable experience in the Government, private and non-profit sectors.

For the full Cabinet announcement and list of positions, click here.

The portfolios previously held by Mr Johnston will be shared among a number of experienced ministers, highlighting the importance of those policy areas and the capabilities within the team.

Premier Cook will take responsibility for the Hydrogen Industry as part of his State and Industry Development, Jobs and Trade portfolio, with the Premier affirming the government’s commitment to positioning Western Australia at the forefront of new energy industries.

Responsibility for Mines and Petroleum will move to David Michael, delivering close synergies with his existing responsibilities for Western Australia’s ports.

Experienced minister Simone McGurk will take on Industrial Relations, helping to oversee the state’s work health and safety regime and lead negotiations under the public sector wages policy. 

Minister Paul Papalia will add the Racing and Gaming portfolio to his existing responsibilities – a portfolio which he previously held from 2017 to 2021, driving reforms including developing the Banned Drinkers Register.

Cockburn MLA David Scaife will become Parliamentary Secretary to Minister John Carey, filling the vacancy created from Ms Beazley’s elevation to Cabinet.

Premier Cook said, “My refreshed Cabinet team has the experience and the energy to do what’s right for Western Australia.

“Ms Beazley will be a welcome addition to the ministry, bringing new energy and perspectives to the cabinet.

“These changes elevate Ministers Whitby and Michael within our economic team, to turn Western Australia into a clean energy powerhouse and to make more things here in Western Australia.

“I’m proud to lead a stable, highly capable and experienced team, which is delivering on what matters to Western Australia.

“We’ll continue to deliver on our plan to tackle cost of living pressures, build more homes, invest in our health system and set up Western Australia’s economy for a strong future.”

Industry comments 

The Australian Energy Council congratulated Mr Whitby on his appointment as Minister for Energy and acknowledged the work of Mr Johnston during his stewardship of the portfolio.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said, “Reece Whitby takes on this role at a critical juncture as Western Australia continues to implement its energy strategy and deals with the challenges thrown up by the ongoing transition to a lower carbon power system.

“The Minister’s previous experience as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Minister for Energy, as well as his existing responsibilities in the Environment and Climate Action portfolios, will prove invaluable.

“Energy, climate and environment policy are closely aligned, with the electricity sector leading decarbonisation efforts nationally. We wish Mr Whitby well in this new role and look forward to the opportunity to work with him.

“I would also like to thank Bill Johnston and recognise the pivotal role he has played in our sector. He was a respected leader and long-serving minister who made a point of developing strong stakeholder relationships and understood the challenges of a market in transition.”

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