Electoral district of Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia.

Western AustraliaLegislative Assembly
Location of Kalgoorlie (dark green) in Western Australia
StateWestern Australia
Dates current1901–present
MPKyran O'Donnell
Electors19,622 (2019)
Area555,448 km2 (214,459.7 sq mi)
DemographicMining and Pastoral

The district includes not only the town of Kalgoorlie, but significant parts of the outback in central and eastern Western Australia.

Long a Labor stronghold, the district was lost to the Liberal Party at the 2001 state election. The new Liberal member, Matt Birney, was re-elected at the 2005 state election but the district has changed hands at every election since then.


The district of Kalgoorlie was first created for the 1901 state election and has continued to exist as an electorate ever since. Over its first 100 years it was always represented by the Labor Party with the exception of two interruptions between 1905 and 1911 and 1921 and 1923. For most of the time after 1923, it was a reasonably safe Labor seat.

However, it became far less safe for Labor during the 1990s amid demographic changes in the city of Kalgoorlie. Labor lost the seat in 2001 when Liberal candidate Matt Birney defeated incumbent MP Megan Anwyl at the 2001 state election. Oddly, this was also an election that brought Labor into government. Indeed, Anwyl was the only Labor MP to lose her seat at that election. However, as a measure of how the ground had shifted from under Labor, Anwyl only led Birney by eight votes on the first count, and lost when One Nation preferences flowed overwhelmingly to Birney.

Birney was re-elected at the 2005 state election with a large swing even as the Labor government was convincingly reelected. He retired at the 2008 state election. Upon Birney's retirement, the seat was won by independent candidate and former Labor MLA John Bowler, the former member for Murchison-Eyre. Bowler held the seat for one term before retiring at the 2013 state election when the seat was won by Nationals MLC Wendy Duncan.

Duncan also only held the seat for only one term before retiring ahead of the 2017 state election which allowed Kyran O'Donnell to gain the seat for the Liberal Party. This marked the second time, after the 2001 state election, that the Liberal Party won the seat at an election as it lost government.


Always based on the town of Kalgoorlie, the redistribution ahead of the 2008 state election saw a significant expansion of the seat to include remote areas to the north and north-east of the town. This was made necessary by one vote, one value electoral reform which meant that, where previously all non-metropolitan districts could have significantly lower enrolment than their metropolitan (i.e. Perth) counterparts, now the only districts permitted to contain low enrolment are those that cover vast geographical areas. So whilst most of its population is based in the town of Kalgoorlie, the district also includes remote communities such as Laverton, Leinster, Leonora, Menzies, Sandstone, Warburton and Wiluna.

Members for KalgoorlieEdit

Member Party Term
  William Johnson Labour 1901–1905
  Norbert Keenan Ministerial 1905–1911
  Albert Green Labour 1911–1913
  George McLeod Labor 1914
  Albert Green Labor 1914–1921
  John Boyland Ind. Nationalist 1921–1922
  James Cunningham Labor 1923–1936
  Herbert Styants Labor 1936–1956
  Tom Evans Labor 1956–1980
  Ted Evans Labor 1980–1981
  Ian Taylor Labor 1981–1996
  Megan Anwyl Labor 1996–2001
  Matt Birney Liberal 2001–2008
  John Bowler Independent 2008–2013
  Wendy Duncan National 2013–2017
  Kyran O'Donnell Liberal 2017–present

Election resultsEdit

2017 Western Australian state election: Kalgoorlie[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Kyran O'Donnell 4,256 28.0 −10.6
Labor Darren Forster 3,965 26.1 +6.9
National Tony Crook 3,713 24.4 −10.3
One Nation Richard Bolton 1,846 12.1 +12.1
Greens Jacqueline Spurling 646 4.3 −1.0
Shooters, Fishers, Farmers Mike Lucas 622 4.1 +4.1
Flux the System! James Erwin 149 1.0 +1.0
Total formal votes 15,197 95.9 +1.9
Informal votes 649 4.1 −1.9
Turnout 15,846 79.1 −0.4
Two-party-preferred result
Liberal Kyran O'Donnell 8,533 56.2 −10.3
Labor Darren Forster 6,656 43.8 +10.3
Liberal gain from National Swing −10.3


  1. ^ Kalgoorlie District Profile and Results, 2017 State General Election, WAEC.

External linksEdit