Premier acknowledges AG as giant of WA Parliament

  • Attorney General John Quigley will stand down at the 2025 State Election
  • Premier Roger Cook pays tribute to the best Attorney General in Western Australia’s history
  • Attorney General’s legacy includes overseeing the passage of more than 60 pieces of legislation through the Parliament

Premier Roger Cook has paid tribute to Attorney General John Quigley for his historic contribution to Western Australia in his 23 years in State Parliament.

Minister Quigley has announced he will not seek re-election at the 2025 State election. He will continue in his role as Attorney General and the Member for Butler until then.

John Quigley was elected to Parliament as the Member for Innaloo in 2001. He has also served as the Member for Mindarie.

The State’s most prolific Attorney General, Minister Quigley has overseen the passage of more than 60 pieces of legislation through the Parliament, since he was appointed to the role in 2017. He has also served as Minister for Electoral Affairs, as well as Minister for Commerce.

John Quigley has been a fierce advocate for vulnerable members of society.

He was instrumental in facilitating the legal expertise which allowed the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation to be drafted and successfully passed by Parliament.

Following the death of Ms Dhu in custody, he implemented a significant closing the gap reform – theestablishment of WA’s custody notification service which makes it mandatory for WA Police officers who arrest and detain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to call a rostered Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor, at any time. There have been more than 120,000 notifications since its introduction in October 2019 and it has also been rolled out across the nation.

His legacy also includes overseeing electoral reforms which resulted in a one-vote, one-value system for the Upper House and ensuring the percentage of votes a political party receives determines the percentage of seats they win. Minister Quigley has also been instrumental in delivering reforms that ensure political donations are transparent.

Minister Quigley steered a nation-leading crackdown targeting bikies via anti-consorting laws, which make WA the most difficult jurisdiction for bikies to operate in.

He also led several successful legal battles against Clive Palmer, including protecting WA’s border controls during the pandemic and saving WA from a damages claim of nearly $30 billion.

Mr Quigley tackled difficult legal issues during the global pandemic on behalf of the State, and introduced a moratorium on evictionsfrom residential tenancies and small commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Minister for Commerce.

In September 2019, the Attorney General asked the Governor to use the “royal prerogative of mercy” to remit the remainder of the sentence of Jody Gore, who had been sentenced to 12 years’ jail in 2016 for killing her partner after 20 years of horrific domestic abuse.

Other significant achievements include:

  • FDV law reform: The Attorney General has achieved significant family and domestic violence law reform including prohibiting personal cross-examination of victims of family and domestic violence by the perpetrator in family violence and family law proceedings, introducing two new specific criminal offences (suffocation and strangulation & persistent family violence), and mandatory imprisonment for serious FDV offenders who remove ankle bracelets;
  • De Facto super splitting: Introduced super-splitting legislation for de facto couples through the Family Court Amendment Bill 2022;
  • High Risk Serious Offenders: Introducing and overseeing the passage of the High Risk Serious Offenders Act 2020 expanding the previous Dangerous Sexual Offenders framework to also include serious, violent criminals. The laws allow for post-sentence detention in jail or stringent supervision in the community (including GPS tracking), for the State’s worst criminals;
  • Dangerous Sex Offenders: Reversing the onus of proof to require Dangerous Sexual Offenders to satisfy the court they will substantially comply with the standard conditions of a supervision order – or they must remain in detention;
  • Statute of limitations: Removing the limitation periods that apply to a claim for damages resulting from child sexual abuse under the Civil Liability Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse Actions) Bill 2017;
  • No Body-No Parole: Ensuring that persons convicted of homicide offences who refuse to co-operate with police and law enforcement authorities to disclose the location of their victim’s remains will not be eligible for parole under ‘No Body No Parole’ laws;
  • Parole withheld for mass murderers/serial killers: Amended the Sentence Administration Act 2003 so that an Attorney General may direct that mass murderers and serial killers must not be considered for parole or a resocialisation program;
  • ‘Revenge porn’ laws: Criminalising the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, a form of image-based sexual abuse, with offences punishable by up to 18 months’ imprisonment;
  • Unexplained wealth: In 2018 introduced and passed legislation tasking the Corruption and Crime Commission with pursuing unexplained wealth operations. The CCC using these powers later froze the assets of Paul Whyte, leading to millions of dollars being returned to the State from Mosman Park property sales;
  • Expunging homosexual convictions: Implemented a scheme for the expungement of historical convictions against LGBTIQ+ people for consensual conduct that would not be illegal today under the Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement Act 2018; and
  • New CT scanner: The Attorney General secured funding for WA’s first dedicated post-mortem CT scanner for the PathWest State Mortuary – an essential tool in determining the cause of unexplained or unexpected deaths – to enable a more efficient coronial system.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“John Quigley is a giant of the Western Australian Parliament. His contribution to our State as Attorney General and a Minister is unmatched.

“His passion and commitment is unrivalled, as is his ability to find solutions to some of the most legally complex challenges we’ve confronted as a State.

“His balance between compassion and an unrelenting belief in public safety has helped deliver some of the most significant law reforms our State has witnessed.

“John Quigley is the most prolific Attorney General our State has ever had, having steered more than 60 pieces of legislation through Parliament.

“As Health Minister during the global pandemic, I witnessed John’s leadership in WA’s legal battles with Clive Palmer.

“John’s confidence in our right to protect Western Australia’s health and economy with border controls was a significant factor in our success in managing COVID-19 and ultimate High Court win.

“John has always fought for the best interests of the people of WA, and for the people of Butler, and it is for those reasons he has come to the decision to not seek re-election.

“On behalf of all Western Australians, I would like to acknowledge and thank John for his many, many years of outstanding service. I look forward to working closely with John over the next year as he continues to deliver on his ambitious agenda to deliver for all Western Australians.”

/Public Release. View in full here.