Mark McGowan (politician)


Mark McGowan (politician)
Mark McGowan
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 December 1996
Preceded by Michael Barnett
Constituency Rockingham
Personal details
Born July 13, 1967 (1967-07-13) (age 44)
Newcastle New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Sarah McGowan (nèe Miller)
Profession Legal Officer

Mark McGowan (born 13 July 1967) is a politician in Western Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party in the Legislative Assembly seat of Rockingham. At present, McGowan is the Shadow Minister for State Development, Trade, Planning, Housing and Works. He is also the Manager of Opposition Business in the Lower House.[1]

He is married to Sarah McGowan and they have three children; Samuel, Alexander and Amelia.

McGowan was born in Newcastle and was educated at public schools in country New South Wales, before obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1989 from the University of Queensland. In 1989, he joined the Navy and served on HMAS Stirling. In 1997, he was awarded the Governor General's Commendation for Bravery, for actions he took as a Naval Officer in 1995 in rescuing an unconscious driver from a burning car.

In 1994, he was elected to the City of Rockingham as a councillor, and in 1995, he became Deputy Mayor. He also joined the Australian Labor Party at this time, and was preselected to run for the seat of Rockingham at the 1996 state election following the retirement of long-serving MP Mike Barnett.

At the 2001 election, Labor defeated the previous Liberal-National government, and McGowan was appointed to the Outer Cabinet. He acted as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Minister for Public Sector Management, Federal Affairs, Science, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests. He also chaired the ANZAC Committee, as well as the committee managing the State's 175th anniversary celebrations in 2004. In January 2005, following the retirement of federal Labor leader Mark Latham, McGowan was criticised for not telling Premier Geoff Gallop before taking leave to travel around Australia with Kim Beazley, who was seeking the position. Gallop ordered him to return to work.[2]

Following Labor's win at the 2005 election, Gallop reshuffled his cabinet, giving McGowan the prestigious Tourism portfolio as well as Racing and Gaming, Youth, and Peel and the South West. In February, following Gallop's retirement, McGowan became the Environment Minister while retaining Racing and Gaming but losing all others—notably Tourism to Sheila McHale, Youth to David Templeman and South West to Norm Marlborough.

In late 2006, Norm Marlborough resigned from the ministry and from Parliament following the release of taped phone calls to disgraced former premier Brian Burke, and after a troubled run in the portfolio Ljiljanna Ravlich was moved from the Education portfolio. McGowan ended up replacing both on 13 December 2006, whilst relinquishing the Environment portfolio to Templeman and Racing and Gaming to Ravlich.

In April 2008 McGowan came under fire when he referred to an ex-labor MP John D'Orazio as an "the worst ethnic branch stacker in the history of Labor in WA".[3][4] McGowan later apologised to anyone who took offence to the remark but left making a full apology to premier Alan Carpenter who stated that the comments were offensive and that Mr McGowan had failed to consult with him before making them.[5]

McGowan was again in the media spotlight after it was revealed that he had dealings with Brian Burke during the 2005 state election. McGowan had repeatedly denied having any dealings with Burke but copies of emails from McGowan's wife Sarah shown that he had repeatedly consulted with Burke over strategy and fundraising.[6][7]

Following the defeat of the Labor Party at the 2008 Western Australian State election, McGowan was thrown into the mix of contenders to take over as new Labor parliamentary leader. However, McGowan withdrew from the race, citing his loyalty to former premier Alan Carpenter. The role went to Eric Ripper unopposed; however, McGowan contested the deputy role, which he lost to newcomer Roger Cook nine votes to 30.[8] McGowan was awarded a place in the shadow ministry as shadow minister for State Development, Trade, Planning, Housing and Works and also manages Opposition business in the Legislative Assembly.

References

External links


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