Richard Court


Richard Court

Infobox_President


name =Richard Court
nationality =Australian
caption =
order =26th Premier of Western Australia
term_start =16 February, 1993
term_end =10 February 2001
deputy =Hendy Cowan, Colin Barnett
predecessor =Carmen Lawrence
successor =Geoff Gallop
birth_date =Birth date and age|1947|9|27|mf=y
birth_place =Nedlands, Western Australia
death_date =
death_place =
constituency =Nedlands
party =Liberal Party of Australia
spouse =Jo Court
profession =
religion =


footnotes =|

Richard Fairfax Court AC (born Nedlands, 27 September 1947), was a Western Australian politician, representing the seat of Nedlands in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for the Liberal Party of Australia from 1982 to 2001. He served as Premier of Western Australia from 1993 to 2001.

Court was born into an old political family. His father, Sir Charles Court, was the previous member for Nedlands (1953-1982) and served as Premier from 1974 to 1982. His older brother Barry Court was president of the Pastoralists' and Graziers' Association, married Margaret Court, and became President of the Liberal Party of Western Australia in March 2008. [cite news|title=Moral High Ground For New Liberal President|url=http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/wa/content/2006/s2191991.htm|work=Stateline Western Australia|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|date=14 March, 2008|accessdate=2008-05-01]

Education

Richard Court was educated at Hale School and graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1968. He subsequently spent a year as a management trainee at Ford Motor Company in the United States, and on his return to Western Australia, operated a number of businesses including food retailing and the manufacture, wholesale and retail of marine and boating equipment.

Political career

In March 1982, at a by-election upon the retirement of his father from politics, Court was elected to represent Nedlands in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for the Liberal Party of Australia. The Liberal Party lost the 1983 election to the Australian Labor Party and its charismatic leader, Brian Burke. Court was elevated to the shadow frontbench in 1984, serving as the opposition spokesman for Resources and Industrial Development, Mines and Aboriginal Affairs. He became deputy leader of the Liberal Party in September 1987, serving under Barry MacKinnon, and became leader in June 1990. [cite web|url=http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/nicholls/nichvo15/vol15pro.htm|title=A Matter of Choice - Proceedings of the XVth Conference (Contributors)|author=H.R. Nicholls Society|date=17 April 1994|accessdate=2007-03-25]

The February 1993 election resulted in the Liberal-National coalition being decisively elected to government, due mainly to an electoral backlash associated with revelations from the WA Inc royal commission examining deals made with businessmen such as Alan Bond and Laurie Connell by Labor governments headed by Burke and his successor, Dowding, during the 1980s.

The Court government was comfortably re-elected in 1996. However, its popularity suffered in his second term as Premier due to scandals, including deals made between the government and the Premier's brother, Ken Court, [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s112654.htm|title=WA Premier in hot water over native title funding|author=ABC|work=The World Today|date=22 March 2000|accessdate=2007-03-25] as well as the finance broking scandal, where many elderly investors lost their savings and an inquiry found the Government ineffective and inefficient in managing the industry. [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/am/stories/s172509.htm|title=Damning report on W.A finance broking scandal|author=ABC|work=AM|date=6 September 2000|accessdate=2007-03-25] [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/stories/s221767.htm|title=WA Govt resists calls for inquiry into finance brokers' scandal|author=ABC|work=7:30 Report|date=8 December 2000|accessdate=2007-03-25] . Also important was the continued logging of old growth forests in the South West of Western Australia, which had split the Liberal Party between a Liberals for the Forests group successfully contesting some seats. In the Upper House as a result five successful Green Candidates captured the balance of power. A rejuvenated Labor Party, led since 1996 by Dr Geoff Gallop, won the February 2001 election by winning an unprecedented 12 seats. Richard Court stepped down as opposition leader, which allowed deputy leader Colin Barnett to win the leadership unopposed.

Award of the Companion of the Order of Australia

On the 9 June 2003 Richard Court was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia, entitling the awardee to the postnominal letters AC. In conferring the award, it was cited "for service to the Western Australian Parliament and to the community, particularly the Indigenous community, and in the areas of child health research and cultural heritage and to economic development through negotiating major resource projects including the export of gas to China furthering the interests of the nation as a whole." [cite web|url=http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1043210&search_type=quick&showInd=true|title=It's an Honour - COURT, Richard Fairfax|date=9 June 2003|author=Australian Government|accessdate=2008-02-09]

References


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