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Tributes flow for Liberal stalwarts

I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to two retiring Liberal champions, Dr Mike Nahan and the Honourable Ken Baston, who will both stand down at the 2021 election.

Most of us are aware of Mike’s significant contribution not only to WA public life, but to the Liberal cause. One of 13 children raised on a small farm in Michigan, Mike added a PhD in economics from ANU to the Bachelor of Engineering and a Master’s degree in agricultural economics he had when he migrated to Australia in 1978.

In 1982, he married another recently arrived migrant, Nyuk, before embarking on a distinguished career with the Institute of Public Affairs in both Perth and Melbourne.

Mike won the seat of Riverton in 2008 by just 64 votes, securing the defeat of the Carpenter Government. In June 2012, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Energy and in 2013, was re-elected with a 7.2% swing.

After the 2013 election he was appointed Minister for Energy, Finance, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, and from March 2014 was Treasurer for the final three years of the Barnett Government.
Mike then stepped up to lead our party in the most difficult of times. His intellect, good humour and depth of policy knowledge not only restored morale but has positioned us to be a real chance to regain government in 15 short months.

We all owe Mike much, and on behalf of the party, I wish him, Nyuk, and their children, Keavy and Key, the very best.

Ken Baston, currently our Whip in Legislative Council, has been an unsung hero for regional and remote West Australians.

Since entering Parliament in 2006, Ken, a former Carnarvon pastoralist, has been busy creating incentives for business by cutting red tape and enhancing development opportunities in the regions.

In the Barnett Government, Ken was Minister for Agriculture and Food (March 2013 – March 2016) and Minister for Fisheries (December 2013 – March 2016). He carried out his responsibilities with great dedication and diligence.

He will be sorely missed and I’m sure Ken will be looking forward to a long and happy retirement after such a stellar parliamentary career.