NEW Premier Mark McGowan has had to reshuffle his cabinet portfolios in his first week to ward off any potential or perceived conflict of interest surrounding Minister Peter Tinley.
In a statement, the new Government said yesterday’s inaugural McGowan cabinet meeting was told Mr Tinley, who was sworn in as Mines and Petroleum Minister on Friday, had a family member who worked in the oil and gas industry.
As a result, Mr Tinley will cede that portfolio to Bill Johnston, who in turn will relinquish his housing portfolio to Mr Tinley.
Mr Tinley will retain his original portfolios of Youth and Veterans Issues, while Mr Johnston keeps Asian Engagement, Electoral Affairs, Commerce, and Industrial Relations.
The changes are to be formalised later this week.
In the statement, Mr McGowan indicated he was erring on the side of caution.
“This is a responsible change to State Cabinet to ensure Ministers can do their job without any conflicts, potential or perceived,” he said.
“Once Cabinet was made aware of the potential conflict it soon became clear that managing the issue would be too complex, given the portfolio responsibilities and therefore the matter was dealt with at the earliest opportunity.
“Although the conflict could have been managed in an appropriate manner, I have made the decision to put the issue beyond any doubt.”
Mr Johnston said he was happy to serve in any capacity.
“Having had eight and a half years in opposition it’s good to be in Government,” he said.
Originally published as Mining, housing ministers swap jobs