LABOR leader Mark McGowan has created a new portfolio dedicated to cost of living pressures as part of a reshuffle of his shadow ministry.
The cost of living portfolio will be handled by Ben Wyatt, who was also promoted to shadow treasurer in the reshuffle, which was unveiled this morning.
Other winners included former Iraq veteran Paul Papalia, who was promoted to shadow education minister.
Peter Tinley and Bill Johnston were elevated to shadow cabinet, and will take on the important roles of planning and energy.
Margaret Quirk lost police but was given responsibility for emergency services and bushfire response, and Michelle Roberts lost treasury but gained police.
Mr McGowan also created new portfolios for suburbs and early childhood, which will be taken on by shadow transport and finance minister Ken Travers and Sue Ellery respectively.
"The creation of the suburbs portfolio reflects Labor's commitment to the areas in which people live," Mr McGowan said.
"Government is not just about big projects in the centre of the city but also about improving the suburbs in which people live."
Mr McGowan will retain the regional development portfolio and take on the new role of economic reform.
He said the cost of living would be the major battleground in the election campaign.
"I want to improve the lives of West Australians, and the best way to make those improvements is through reform. We won't be a party that stands still," he said.
The creation of the cost of living portfolio is recognition that the issue will dominate the election campaign.
"It's the number one issue facing West Australians and it will be the number one issue of the election," Mr McGowan said.
"Ben Wyatt will ensure that WA Labor gives the issue the attention it deserves and together with the treasury portfolio will be able to take up the issues after four long years of the Barnett Government prices rises."
Mr Wyatt has also been given indigenous affairs and native title responsibilities.
The new-look shadow cabinet
Mark McGowan MLA - Leader of the Opposition; Regional Development; Economic Reform; Public Sector Management
Roger Cook MLA - Deputy Leader of the Opposition; Health
Sue Ellery MLC – Leader in the Legislative Council; Child Protection; Disability Services; Community Services; Early Childhood; Women's Interests;
Kate Doust MLC - Deputy Leader in the Legislative Council; Commerce; Consumer Protection; Small Business; Science; Innovation and Technology; Trade
Michelle Roberts MLA- Manager of Opposition Business; Police; Road Safety; Crime Prevention; Tourism
Paul Papalia MLA – Education; Agriculture and Food
John Quigley MLA - Attorney General
Mick Murray MLA- Sport and Recreation; Racing and Gaming; Forestry; South West; Great Southern; Goldfields-Esperance; Wheatbelt
Margaret Quirk MLA - Emergency Services; Bushfire Response; Electoral Affairs; Seniors and Volunteering;
Ljiljanna Ravlich MLC– Training and Workforce Development; Mental Health
Ben Wyatt MLA – Treasurer; Indigenous Affairs; Native Title; Cost of Living
Ken Travers MLC – Transport; Finance; Suburbs
Fran Logan MLA – Water; Industrial Relations; Corrective Services
John Hyde MLA - Local Government; Culture and the Arts; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests
Jon Ford MLC - Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries; Kimberley; Pilbara; Gascoyne; Mid West
Sally Talbot MLC – Environment; Climate Change; Lands; Youth; Peel
Peter Tinley MLA – Planning; Housing; Local Jobs
Bill Johnston MLA - State Development; Energy