Mike Barnett (politician)

Michael Barnett AM (born 24 January 1946) is a former Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1974 to 1996, representing the seat of Rockingham. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1986 to 1993.

Mike Barnett

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
10 June 1986 – 17 June 1993
Preceded byJohn Harman
Succeeded byJim Clarko
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
30 March 1974 – 14 December 1996
Preceded byNone (new creation)
Succeeded byMark McGowan
Personal details
Born (1946-01-24) 24 January 1946 (age 74)
Belper, Derbyshire, England
Political partyLabor
EducationPinjarra High School

Barnett was born in Belper, Derbyshire, England, and briefly attended Trescobeas County Secondary School (in Falmouth, Cornwall). His family migrated to Western Australia in December 1958, and settled in Pinjarra, where he attended Pinjarra High School. Prior to entering politics, Barnett was the owner of a caravan park in Rockingham, one of Perth's southern suburbs.[1] He joined the Labor Party in 1970, and at the 1974 state election successfully contested the newly created seat of Rockingham, narrowly defeating the Liberal candidate.[2]

After the 1977 state election, Barnett was appointed to the shadow ministry of Colin Jamieson. He remained in the shadow ministry when Ron Davies replaced Jamieson as leader in 1978, and when Brian Burke replaced Jamieson in 1981. However, when Labor won government at the 1983 election, Barnett was not elevated to cabinet, but instead made chairman of committees in the Legislative Assembly. After the 1986 election, he was elevated to the speakership, replacing the retiring John Harman. The youngest speaker since Bertie Johnston in 1917, he served until the Labor government's defeat at the 1993 election, and retired from parliament at the 1996 election. From 2004 to 2008, Barnett served as chairman of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA), a state government agency.[1] In 2006, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), "for service to the Parliament of Western Australia and to the community of Rockingham".[3]


  1. ^ a b "Michael Barnett". Biographical Register of Members. Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  2. ^ Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN 0730984095.
  3. ^ BARNETT, Michael – It's An Honour. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
Parliament of Western Australia
New creation Member for Rockingham
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
John Harman
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Succeeded by
Jim Clarko