Earlier today I was advised by the leader of the National Party Brendon Grylls that his party had decided to join forces once again with the WA Liberal Party to form Government in Western Australia.
It is a decision I respect and fully understand.
The Labor Party with 27 seats is the largest single party in the Legislative Assembly, but we do not have the numbers to form a Government.
I want to thank and congratulate Brendon for the mature, responsible and genuine way in which he has conducted all his negotiations with me.
I believe he is a fine person who can make a great contribution to public life in this State and I sincerely wish he and his team well.
I also want to congratulate Colin Barnett and the Liberal Party for what has been a truly remarkable election result.
Few people predicted it was possible - and few people believed it when we said the election was going to be close - knife-edged.
I wish Colin Barnett well as he prepares to take up his role as Premier of our amazing State.
It is a great privilege.
I also extend my best wishes to his family and his team.
As we go out of office, we in Labor can be proud of what we have achieved.
The State is in good shape.
No incoming Government has inherited a stronger economy, a better set of finances, or a State better positioned for future success.
There are a massive number of projects under way or about to commence in this State.
I believe we have transformed WA:
We have created opportunity.
Doubled the size of the economy
Halved unemployment, slashed youth unemployment and reduced long term unemployment by 75 per cent
Raised the school leaving age from 15 to 17, doubled the number of people in apprenticeships and traineeships.
Built dozens of new schools and employed thousands of additional teachers and education assistants.
Begun the physical rebuild and overhaul of our hospital system.
Employed thousands of additional nurses and 900 extra doctors.
Slashed elective surgery waiting lists.
Hundreds of additional police officers.
New police stations.
Reduced crime rates.
We have invested in WA’s future.
The massive expansion of our urban rail network - debt free.
A 15 per cent domestic gas policy.
Heath Ledger Theatre.
The new Perry Lakes.
A city re-inventing itself.
Saving our old growth forests and protecting Ningaloo Reef.
Igniting the arts and science like never before.
A stadium and museum to come and a new Perth foreshore - if we don’t lose the vision.
Dramatic developments in our resources industries.
Regional cities with vitality, energy and optimism.
And Albany, my beloved home town, experiencing renaissance.
Law reform, electoral reform, native title.
We can be proud of the record.
Nevertheless the election result shows that our Government did not meet the full expectations of the community.
We could have done better.
I accept full responsibility for the outcome and all that it means.
I thank Geoff Gallop, my predecessor, for making it possible for us. I cannot express in the few words that this time allows my gratitude and admiration for Geoff.
I thank my Cabinet and Caucus colleagues for what they have achieved and the work they have done through the triumphs and the tragedies.
I thank all the wonderful people who have worked with me and for all of us during our time in Government - not for political gain but for the good of the State - and I apologise to those I have disappointed or let down.
I thank the people of Western Australia for giving me and all my colleagues the incredible privilege of holding public office and the opportunities we have had.
To all of the hundreds and thousands of Western Australians who have supported the Labor Party we will continue to represent you in the community and in the Parliament.
I thank the thousands of Labor Party volunteers and supporters who give up their time to help this great party in its endeavours.
I am humbled by your support as are all of our members.
I thank my four daughters who were babies when this adventure began and are now growing into beautiful young women.
And I thank their mother, my wife Annmarie, for her love and support.
Thank you everybody.
Yes, I dearly wanted more time.
We all did - but such is the nature of politics and life - you don’t always get what you want.
There are many challenges still unmet, many more still as yet unknown but certain to come.
I truly wish Colin Barnett and Brendon Grylls and their team the very best in their endeavours.
As I said, I accept full responsibility for the outcome of this election for the Labor Party.
It is therefore my intention to resign as Leader of the State Parliamentary Labor Party.
I intend to remain in Parliament as the elected Member for Willagee.
This will no doubt be a testing time for our great Party but the Labor Party is strong and I’m confident of it finding the best way forward.
I do not intend to do any further media interviews and I would gratefully ask that you respect this wish.
Premier's office - 9222 9475