Honourable Bill Johnston

MLA
WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations

Bill Johnston was sworn in as the Mines and Petroleum, Commerce and Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement Minister in March 2017.

This occurred a week after the WA Labor Party’s landslide victory against the Liberal Government.

As our State’s first Asian Engagement Minister, Minister Johnston’s focus was to capitalise on the rapid population and economic growth in Asia to create more job-boosting opportunities in Western Australia.

The Minister has a particular affinity with Indonesia, having spent time in West Java as a high school exchange student, and he maintains a working proficiency in both written and spoken Indonesian.

After almost two years in those roles, Minister Johnston was appointed Energy Minister on December 13, 2018.

To accommodate these changes, and to focus on this important new role, the Asian Engagement, Commerce and Electoral Affairs portfolios were handed over to other Cabinet Ministers.

He retains the Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations portfolios.

In Opposition he served as Shadow Minister for State Development and Energy from 2012, and Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum from 2013.

He was a Member of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and Deputy Chair of the Inquiry into Domestic Gas Prices from 2010 to 2011.

Prior to entering Parliament, he was the State Secretary of WA Labor from 2001 until 2008, with responsibility for all State and Federal election campaigns.

During this time he was also a member of the Australian Labor Party’s National Executive.

As Assistant State Secretary of WA Labor from 1998 until 2001, his duties included creating and operating the Labor Business Roundtable, that connects WA Labor with business, industry and the not-for-profit sector in WA.

In 1985, he was a delegate to the International Youth Conference in Kingston, Jamaica during the UN International Youth Year; he participated in the Australian Young Political Leaders Program delegation to Indonesia in 1991; he participated in the US State Department’s Australian Young Political Leaders tour for the Mid-Term Elections in 2002; and in 2006 he was an ALP International Delegate for the UK Labour Party National Conference.

He was a senior official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association for eight years, President of ACT Young Labor in 1988, and appointed by Prime Minister Bob Hawke as Youth Director to the Board of the Australian Bicentennial Authority from 1985 until 1989.

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