WA Premier Alan Carpenter yesterday forced Brian Burke to resign from the ALP – but may still be pushing more ministers out the door.

Federal Labor leader Kim Beazley has been forced to distance himself from the WA Inc crook.

Other WA Labor figures show a commendable loyalty to their old mate Burkie – even if their senses of political judgement and ethical conduct aren’t so praiseworthy. “Even yesterday, only a handful of ministers would categorically rule out any dealings with Burke while in government,” The Australian reports today . It’s got an amusing little list:

Burke’s government friends, not all factionally aligned to Burke’s Old Right, are many and varied.

John Bowler, the Resources Minister, welcomed the lifting of the ban when Carpenter elevated Norm Marlborough to the ministry, saying he looked forward to dealing with Burke on a professional level.

Alannah MacTiernan, the toughest of the Carpenter mob, is believed to have dealt with Burke on numerous occasions in 2003 during Gallop’s supposed ban.

Prominent Labor MP John Quigley was Burke’s lawyer during the WA Inc period and is a Burke loyalist, as is senior cabinet minister Kim Chance, the government leader of the Legislative Council.

Michelle Roberts, the former police minister, is believed to have called Burke after hearing of Gallop’s resignation, in a bid to get Burke’s blessing for a crack at the top job…

And there’s more state sleaze in Queensland, with the news that mining magnate Ken Talbot lent an undisclosed $300,000 to then industrial relations minister, Gordon Nuttall.

Talbot is possibly the biggest name in Queensland mining and business circles at the moment. Local pollie watchers say it is beyond comprehension why he would give someone like Nuttall a massive secret loan. 

Peter Fray

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