IN a first for the area, Rockingham is set to have the Premier and the Deputy Premier living locally when the new State Parliament is sworn in.
Weekend Courier sat down with the 30th Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan to talk about his overwhelming win.
Mr McGowan admitted to being a “bit tired”, and also confirmed Kwinana MLA Roger Cook would continue as his deputy.
“It’s been a big few weeks. Obviously you get a bit tired after that, but I’m exhilarated by the opportunity given to me,” he said.
“I’m humbled by it; it’s been a remarkable experience.”
Mr McGowan intends to continue calling Rockingham home.
“My family lives here and we love this place,” he said.
“Rockingham has always given me everything. It’s always given me a lot of what I understand about the world. You know, people work hard and they need support when it comes to the services government provide.”
Mr McGowan described his world as “very different” to outgoing premier Colin Barnett’s.
“That changes your perspectives on things,” he said.
“I’ll be around, I’m planning on living in Rockingham. I’ve lived here for 27 years and I’m not going to change now,” he said.
“It does keep you more grounded. You mix with people who have lost their jobs and people who can’t afford to pay their bills, people who might be worried about an education assistant being pulled out of the classroom.
“It keeps you in touch with the ordinary people.”
Mr McGowan’s plan to create more apprenticeships and to diversify the local economy will be good news for Rockingham and Kwinana, as the area is one of the most affected by unemployment in WA.
New figures show more than 36.4 per cent of jobseekers in Kwinana accessed welfare last year and 39.5 per cent of people in Rockingham.
“Because the areas that suffer the most are Rockingham and Kwinana; they aren’t Claremont and Cottesloe,” Mr McGowan said.
“Locally we are going to have the Premier and the Deputy Premier living locally, it’s terrific.
“That’s a first; it’s never happened down here before.”