Liza Harvey elected new leader of WA Liberals

Liza Harvey. Picture: Bryce Luff
Liza Harvey. Picture: Bryce Luff

LIZA Harvey has been elected unopposed as the leader of the WA Liberals.

The party met on Thursday morning to elect a new leader following the shock resignation of Mike Nahan on Wednesday.

Nedlands MLA Bill Marmion has been elected the deputy, beating Carine MLA Tony Krsticevic to the post.

Manjimup-born Harvey, 52, is Western Australia’s first female Liberal leader.

Nahan quits as WA Opposition leader

First elected in 2008 when Colin Barnett became premier, she won the newly created seat of Scarborough.

Ms Harvey was elevated to the ministry in 2012, with portfolios including police, road safety and women’s interests.

She was the first woman to become deputy leader of the Liberal party in February 2016, when she took on the deputy premier role after the resignation of Kim Hames.

When the Liberals lost government in a thumping election defeat in March 2017, she admitted the Liberals ran a ‘terrible’ campaign and decided not to run for the leadership.

Dr Nahan had named his deputy and Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey and finance and energy spokesman and Bateman MLA Dean Nalder as his top picks to succeed him.

In a statement on Wednesday night, Mr Nahan, the Michigan-born former state treasurer, said it was always his plan to hand over the Liberal leadership before the 2021 state election.

Premier Mark McGowan acknowledged Dr Nahan had taken on a difficult task when no one else wanted the job.

“He had the courage to step up when none of his colleagues would,” Mr McGowan said.

“While he has his flaws, like all of us, at least he had the strength to do it, unlike the other contenders.”

Dr Nahan said his stepping down was not an acknowledgement he would not win the next state election.