Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

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Eric Ripper

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Eric Stephen Ripper (born 13 September 1951) is the Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Labor Party in Western Australia.

He grew up on a wheat/sheep farm near Nyabing. Ripper later attended Churchlands Senior High School and the University of Western Australia, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education. Before entering politics, Ripper had a career as a teacher.


He entered the Parliament of Western Australia in 1988, after winning a by-election in the Electoral district of Ascot. Ripper served as Minister for Community Services and Minister for Disability Services in the Lawrence Ministry (1991-1993). He currently represents the seat of Belmont.

Ripper entered the Cabinet upon the formation of the Labor Government following the 2001 Western Australian election. He became Minister for Energy in 2001. Ripper had previously served as Deputy Premier, Treasurer, Minister for Government Enterprises and Minister Assisting the Minister for Public Sector Management in Gallop's cabinet.Prior to the 2008 election and the defeat of the Carpenter Labor government, he was the Deputy Premier and Treasurer, in the Carpenter government.

Ripper succeeded Alan Carpenter as WA leader of the ALP on 23 September 2008. In January 2011, Labor MP Ben Wyatt intended to challenge Ripper for the Labor leadership, but withdrew after finding minority support amongst caucus.

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