The Ethnic Communities’ Council of WA extends its warm welcome and commendations to Premier Elect the Hon. Mark McGowan and his team on their magnificent victory in the 2017 state election.

“Multiculturalism was at its zenith in this state during the term of the Gallop government, and the Hon. Mark McGowan was an important member of Premier Gallop’s team as his Parliamentary Secretary. He is therefore well placed to reverse the institutional racism that was perpetuated by Messrs Castrilli and Nahan in their capacity as Ministers for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests and usher in another golden era for Multiculturalism”, said Council President Ramdas Sankaran.

“Our confidence in this regard is not misplaced given Mr McGowan:

  • Has a team of senior members very committed to and knowledgeable about our sector, especially, his Deputy the Hon. Roger Cook, the Shadow Minister for Multicultural Interests, the Hon. Margaret Quirk and the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan
  • Highlighted in his victory speech, “Today as always West Australians showed the way for the rest of the country. The core Australian values of equality, fairness, merit and opportunity shone through in this election campaign. They are Australian values and they are Labor’s values”

“Sadly, WA has not showed the way and ignored equality, fairness, merit and opportunity when it comes to the funding of systemic advocacy thanks to Messrs Castrilli and Nahan; for unlike all other state and territory governments the WA government does not provide funding for its Ethnic Communities Council. Furthermore, the Barnett government’s Partnership Forum comprises 22 leaders from State Government agencies and the not-for-profit community sector, etc. and not one of them represents an ethno-specific and multicultural services provider. The restoration of our funding will enable us to work in close partnership with the McGowan government to achieve common objectives effectively and ensure the alienation of ethnic communities is ended”, said Mr. Sankaran.

“Mr McGowan’s reference to ’Today, West Australians voted for hope and opportunity over desperation and division’ in his victory speech was spot on. About a month ago our Council issued a media release in which I said  “Mr. Barnett’s description that the Liberal Party’s preference deal with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation was a “sensible and pragmatic result” was hypocritical and absolutely astounding”, said Mr. Sankaran. “I also added that Liberal’s support of One Nation, was the Ultimate Betrayal; the utter lack of courage and conviction of Mr Barnett and the Liberal Party was despicable and there was absolutely nothing sensible about their decision”.

“Whilst our Council has always done what it could to promote informed voting it has always remained non-party political in its advocacy. However, in that media release our Council albeit with some reluctance called upon members to convey their displeasure on 11th March by putting the Liberal party second last after One Nation. Our Council also called upon Liberal voters to do likewise for the aforementioned preference deal undermines their values and policy positions on economic and social issues and we advised that Brendon Grylls and his National party offered them a more sensible economic and social alternative”, said Mr. Sankaran.

The Council reiterated this position earlier this week at its IWD event which was covered by WTV and streamed via Facebook. (

“The overwhelming victory of the ALP, the reasonably good outcomes for the National Party, especially given the massive swings against the Liberals; and the significant drop in the One Nation popularity since the deal was signed, have completely vindicated our Council’s stance.” However we are saddened that the Hon. Rob Johnson did not retain his seat given his tremendous record and commitment to the multicultural sector,” said Mr. Sankaran.

Benvenuto & Bravissimo Signor McGowan – Arrivederci Signor Barnett