On This Gay Day: The McGowan Government was elected in 2017

The McGowan Government comes to power in 2017

Western Australia saw a change of government on this day in 2017 when Mark McGowan lead Labor to victory over the Liberal Barnett government.

Described as a landslide election result the Labor won 41 of the 59 seats in Legislative Assembly, the largest majority government result in the state’s history. The 12.2 per cent two party swing was the worst defeat ever suffered by a state government since federation.

Labor subsequently lost the seat of Darling Range at a by-election after it was revealed that their candidate Barry Urban had forged his credentials and fabricated his background. In 2021 he sentenced to three years imprisonment.

The win saw Mark McGowan installed as the 30th Premier of the state. At the 2021 election the McGowan Government increased their majority to 53 of the 59 seats in the lower house, pushing the Liberal party into minority party status, while also gaining a majority in the Legislative Council.

Since forming government WA Labor have had a poor record on LGBTQIA+ issues, taking a vague stance on conversion practices banned in other states, de-funding Inclusive Education WA (formerly known as Safe Schools) and taken no action on removing the barrier of the Gender Reassignment Board – a promise made in 2017 ahead of the election.

John Barrowman celebrates a birthday

British-American actor John Barrowman is also celebrating his birthday today. Before making his mark as the pansexual time traveller Captain Jack Sparrow in Doctor Who and spin off series Torchwood, Barrowman was best known for his work in musical theatre.

He started his West End career in the late 1980’s appearing in Anything Goes alongside Elaine Paige and Bernard Cribbins. He went on to appear in Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard and Company.

Barrowman’s TV career began with the short lived US drama Central Park West which he appeared in alongside Mariel Hemingway, Mädchen Amick, Lauren Hutton and Raquel Welch.

One TV role he missed out on was playing Will Truman in Will and Grace. Producers apparently though Barrowman came across and being too straight, and decided to cast Eric McCormick instead.

Barrowman’s best known role though is as Captain Jack. He first play the time travelling detective in 2005 and has reprised the role in recent series.

OIP Staff, This post was originally published in 2020, and has subsequently been updated. 

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