Western Australia: July to December 2002
Blackwell Publishing Asia
Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Communications and Arts
The second half of 2002 was punctuated by the tragedy at Bali on 12 October wheresome eighty-eight young Australians, including fifteen from Western Australia lost their lives. Given that Bali had become a popular holiday destination for Western Australians, the event had a profound impact on the state’s psyche with Premier Geoff Gallop undertaking to build a memorial at a satisfactory location. A specialist anti-terrorism police unit was created and Western Australia became a participant in the national buy-back scheme for handguns. Although the Premier maintained very good ratings in the polls the Labor Party’s standing in government indicated victory at the next election was going to be difficult to achieve. Furthermore, the government, particularly Jim McGinty as Attorney-General and Electoral Affairs Minister, had a major setback in the long quest for “one vote one value” when the Supreme Court rejected the constitutionality of its electoral reform package.