Libby Mettam takes over as Western Australian Liberal leader

Libby Mettam has been appointed new leader of the WA Liberals replacing Dr David honey who had served in the role for two years. Mettam was elected unopposed after Dr Honey declared he would not contest the leadership challenge.

Mettam, who was Dr Honey’s Deputy Leader, wrote to her colleagues on Friday arguing that a change was needed if the party were to have any success at the next state election. The party was almost wiped out at the 2021 poll which saw only David Honey and Libby Mettam remaining in the House of Representatives. The party has seven MPs in the Legislative Assembly.

Following her elevation to the leadership position Mettam asked her colleagues to remove powerbroker MLC Nick Goiran from his position as parliamentary secretary.  Goiran is one of several MPs who were revealed be part of a group know as ‘The Clan’ who control preselection processes for candidates across the party. Leaked texts from a WhatsApp group previously revealed the extend of the group’s influence.

The move was unsuccessful with her colleagues voting to keep Goiran in the role. Speaking on 6PR on Monday afternoon Mettam said she would push again for Goiran to be removed from the posiiton at another party room meeting on Thursday.

She indicated that under her leadership he would not be assigned any portfolios. Goiran is currently holds responsibilities as the shadow attorney general, while also looking after child protection and industrial relations.

“We will be having another party room meeting on Thursday, and what I can say is I will be using the means I have available to illustrate that I take the issues that have been raised in relation to internal matters of the party seriously,” she said.

“In terms of the secretary role it is disappointing that it did not receive the support of the party room, and at this stage he remains in that position.

“But I have illustrated my intention to Nick Goiran, that I will be raising with the National Party leader, that the Liberal Party team going forward will not include Nick Goiran in his shadow capacity.” Mettam said during her appearance on 6PR, describing it as a “line in the sand” moment for the embattled party.

Goiran has declined to comment on the issue but has said the new leader has his  “one hundred per cent unconditional and unequivocal” support.

Shortly after Mettam was announced as the new leader Peter Collier, another recognised powerbroker within the party, issued an apology for comments he had made in The Clan’s WhatsApp group chat. Over 700 comments from the group were leaked to the media last year causing an embarrassment for the party.

“Given the ongoing commentary of the private chat messages, I have expressed my apology to the WA Liberal Party leader, Libby Mettam, and I also sincerely apologise to Liberal Party members, and the people of Western Australia for the inappropriate language that I used on several occasions,” Collier said.

Mettam told 6PR that she had no intention of stripping Collier of his portfolios.

The National Party also had a change of leadership on Monday. Steve Thomas was elected as their new leader following the shock resignation of Mia Davies. As the Nationals have more MPs in the Legislative Council they are the official Opposition party in Western Australia.

OIP Staff

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