22 February 2024

WA Attorney-General John Quigley to retire at next state election

| Andrew McLaughlin
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WA Premier Roger Cook & A-G John Quigley

Premier Roger Cook and Attorney-General John Quigley. Photo: John Quigley Facebook.

Western Australian Attorney-General John Quigley has announced he will step down from parliament and won’t seek re-election at the next state election in March 2025.

Mr Quigley made the announcement this week after telling Premier Roger Cook of his intentions the previous week. He said Mr Cook had asked him to continue in his role as Attorney-General and as Minister for Electoral Affairs until the election.

“I have been humbled by the support and confidence given to me by two outstanding premiers, in Mark McGowan and Roger Cook,” Mr Quigley said in a statement.

“I have been proud to lead a team of talented people who have enabled myself and the government to embark upon significant law reform for the people of Western Australia,” he added.

“Not only would I like to thank the Premier for the privilege of being the Attorney-General but also my Cabinet colleagues and the Caucus.

“All that I have achieved has been in the service of the Labor Party’s never-ending quest for a fairer, more just and inclusive society.”

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Mr Quigley entered state parliament in 2001 after working as a lawyer for 25 years. He became Labor’s shadow attorney-general and spokesperson on legal affairs in 2009, and became Attorney-General in 2017 when Labor took office.

“When I came into parliament, I wanted to make a difference for the most vulnerable people in our community and to deliver long awaited reform to improve our system of justice and improve community safety,” he said.

“Through this journey I have made lifelong friends. I shall continue to work hard for the people and the Government of Western Australia and for my constituents,” he added.

“My immediate priority is to bring on legislation for the mandatory imprisonment of those who remove court-imposed GPS tracking devices, to make our community safer.”

The Premier paid tribute to Mr Quiqley and his contribution to Western Australia in his 23 years in state parliament.

“John Quigley has been a fierce advocate for vulnerable members of society,” he said.

“The state’s most prolific Attorney-General, Minister Quigley has overseen the passage of more than 60 pieces of legislation through the parliament, since he was appointed to the role in 2017. He has also served as Minister for Electoral Affairs, as well as Minister for Commerce.

“He was instrumental in facilitating the legal expertise which allowed the voluntary assisted dying legislation to be drafted and successfully passed by parliament,” Mr Cook added.

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Following the death of Ms Dhu in custody, Mr Quigley is arguably best known for implementing a significant Closing the Gap reform – the establishment of WA’s custody notification service which makes it mandatory for WA Police officers who arrest and detain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to call a rostered Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor, at any time.

Since its introduction in October 2019 there have been more than 120,000 notifications, and similar legislation has also been rolled out across the nation.

“His legacy also includes overseeing electoral reforms which resulted in a one-vote, one-value system for the Upper House and ensuring the percentage of votes a political party receives determines the percentage of seats they win,” Mr Cook said.

“Minister Quigley has also been instrumental in delivering reforms that ensure political donations are transparent.

“On behalf of all Western Australians, I would like to acknowledge and thank John for his many, many years of outstanding service. I look forward to working closely with John over the next year as he continues to deliver on his ambitious agenda to deliver for all Western Australians.”

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