Matt Birney

Matt Birney
Matt Birney
Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia
In office
9 March 2005 – 24 March 2006
Preceded by Colin Barnett
Succeeded by Paul Omodei
Constituency Kalgoorlie
Personal details
Born 10 June 1969
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party
Profession Small Business Proprietor

Matthew John (Matt) Birney (born 10 June 1969) is an Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 2001 to 2008, serving as Leader of the Opposition from 2005 to 2006.

Birney was born in Sydney but comes from a family long established on the Western Australian goldfields, and has lived in the regional city of Kalgoorlie since childhood. His father, Jack Birney, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1975 until his defeat in 1983.

The younger Birney was educated at North Kalgoorlie Primary and Eastern Goldfields Senior High School. He was a small business proprietor and a board member of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry, before being elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for the seat of Kalgoorlie in February 2001. He is the first Liberal ever to win Kalgoorlie defeating Megan Anwyl, which for many years was held by the Australian Labor Party.

Birney was Shadow Minister for Youth and the Goldfields-Esperance region from 2001 to 2002, Shadow Minister for Police, Goldfields-Esperance and Communication Services from 2002 to 2004 and Shadow Minister for Police, Commerce, Communications and Goldfields-Esperance from 2004 to 2005.

Despite his relative lack of experience, Birney was widely seen as one of the Liberal Party's better performers in Opposition during the 2001 to 2005 parliament. After the Liberal Party under Colin Barnett was defeated at the 2005 elections by the Labor Party government of Geoff Gallop, Barnett resigned and Birney was elected unopposed as party Leader.

After becoming leader, Birney came under consistent criticism from both inside and outside his party. A number of public gaffes, including implying that the Pope had a partner and taking his girlfriend on a tax-payer funded tour of Europe, reduced his effectiveness as Opposition Leader. Within the party he was criticised for his lack of inclusiveness in policy formation. These problems led former deputy leader, Paul Omodei, to challenge Birney for the leadership. The party-room ballot held on 24 March 2006 was won by Omodei. Omodei stated he would consider offering Birney a position on the Liberal front bench, but Birney remained on the back bench thereafter.

Birney's demise as WA Liberal leader was later echoed by that of South Australian Liberal leader Iain Evans a year later in 2007. Both Birney and Evans became their party's leaders following its defeat in the respective state elections only to be dumped a year later in a leadership coup.

On 3 January 2008, Birney announced that he would be quitting politics for the corporate world, and duly retired at the 2008 state election.[1]


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Colin Barnett
Leader of the Opposition
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Paul Omodei
Party political offices
Preceded by
Colin Barnett
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia (WA division)
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Paul Omodei

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Birney (disambiguation) — Birney may refer to: *a birney, i.e. a once popular small streetcar *Birney, Montana *Earle Birney (May 13, 1904 September 3, 1995), Canadian poet *James G. Birney (February 4, 1792 November 25, 1857), minor party candidate for U.S. President… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack Birney — Reginald John Jack Birney (26 September 1928 ndash; 1 January 1995) was an Australian politician. Born in Sydney, he was a barrister before entering politics. In 1975, he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Liberal… …   Wikipedia

  • David Birney — For the American Civil War general, see David B. Birney David Birney Born David Edwin Birney April 23, 1939 (1939 04 23) (age 72) Washington, D.C. Occupation Actor, Writer, Director Producer Years active …   Wikipedia

  • Colin Barnett — The Honourable Colin Barnett MLA 29th Premier of Western Australia Elections: 2008 …   Wikipedia

  • Paul Omodei — Infobox MLA | name =Paul Omodei nationality =Australian order =Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia term start =24 March 2006 term end =17 January 2008 deputy = predecessor =Matt Birney successor =Troy Buswell birth date =Birth date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Electoral district of Kalgoorlie — Infobox Australian Electorate name = Kalgoorlie state = wa caption = lifespan = 1901 mp = mp party = namesake = area = class = Mining and PastoralKalgoorlie is an electoral district of Western Australia. As in other districts, the electoral… …   Wikipedia

  • Electoral district of Nedlands — Infobox Australian Electorate name = Nedlands state = wa caption = lifespan = 1930–present mp = Sue Walker mp party = Independent namesake = Nedlands area = 26.7 class = North MetropolitanThe Electoral district of Nedlands is a Legislative… …   Wikipedia

  • Political families of Australia — Beazley Family= Kim Edward Beazley AO (born September 30, 1917), Australian politician, was Minister for Education in the government of Gough Whitlam and a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives for 32 years, from 1945 to… …   Wikipedia

  • Kalgoorlie, Western Australia — Infobox Australian Place | type = city name = Kalgoorlie Boulder state = Western Australia caption = pop = 28,242 pop footnotes = (2006 census)Census 2006 AUS|id=5080|name=Kalgoorlie/Boulder (WA) (Statistical District)|accessdate=2008 04 02|quick …   Wikipedia

  • Members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, 2001–2005 — This is a list of members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 2001 to 2005: Name Party District Years in office Ross Ainsworth National Roe 1989–2005 Paul Andrews Labor Southern River 2001–2008 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.