Bob Kucera

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Bob Kucera

APM
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
10 February 2001 6 September 2008
Preceded by Kim Hames
Succeeded byNone (abolished)
Constituency Yokine
Personal details
Born (1944-11-06) 6 November 1944 (age 76)
Cardiff, Wales
Political party Labor
Other political
affiliations
Independent (2008)

Robert Charles Kucera APM (born 6 November 1944) is a former Australian politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 2001 to 2008, representing the seat of Yokine. A high-ranking police officer before entering parliament, he served as a minister in the government of Geoff Gallop from 2001 to 2005, but resigned over a conflict of interest. Kucera represented the Labor Party for most of his career, but lost preselection prior to the 2008 state election, and resigned to sit as an independent for the final months of his term.

Contents

Early life

Kucera was born in Cardiff, Wales, to Norah Gertrude (née Williams) and Karel "Charlie" Kucera. [1] His mother was Welsh, while his father was a member of the Czechoslovak Air Force, and the two met while stationed at Pembroke Dock during World War II. Kucera's father returned to Wales after the war, and during his childhood the family lived for periods in Cardiff (including in Llanishen and Cathays) and in the small village of Mamhilad. [2] The family emigrated to Australia in 1964, settling in Perth.

Kucera joined Western Australia Police in 1966, and remained with the force until 2001, when he resigned to run for parliament. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study policing overseas in 1991, and from 1999 to 2001 served as assistant commissioner to Barry Matthews. [1]

Kucera has been awarded the Australian Police Medal, the National Police Service Medal, the National Medal, and the Western Australia Police Medal.

Politics

At the 2001 state election, Kucera was recruited by the Labor Party's leader, Geoff Gallop, to stand for the party in the seat of Yokine. He defeated the sitting Liberal member, Kim Hames, who had been a minister in the government of Richard Court. [3] Immediately after being election, Kucera was made Minister for Health in Gallop's new ministry. He served in the position until a reshuffle in June 2003, after which he was instead made Minister for Tourism, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Peel and the South-West. After the 2005 state election, another reshuffle occurred, with Kucera's titles becoming Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, and Minister for Seniors. [4] In October 2005, Kucera resigned from the ministry after claims of a conflict of interest. He and his wife both held shares in Alinta, an energy supply company, when cabinet made a $90 million decision that would benefit the company. [5] [6]

Prior to the 2008 state election, Kucera's seat, Yokine, was abolished in an electoral redistribution, and was largely split between the new districts of Mount Lawley and Nollamara. He contested Labor preselection for the seat of Mount Lawley, but lost to journalist and lobbyist Karen Brown, a supporter of Alan Carpenter (who had replaced Geoff Gallop as premier in January 2006). As a result, he resigned from the Labor Party to sit as an independent. He considered running as an independent at the election, [7] but later announced his retirement from politics, expressing a desire to spend more time with his family. [8] Kucera eventually rejoined the Labor Party, and in February 2012 was invited by the party's new leader, Mark McGowan, to again contest preselection in Mount Lawley. [9] He was successful, but at the 2013 state election was easily defeated by the sitting Liberal member, Michael Sutherland. [10]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Robert (Bob) Charles Kucera – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  2. "The Welsh Society of WA - Patron Hon Bob Kucera". 2008. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  3. "Perthnow - Bob Kucera quits ALP, goes independent". 2008. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  4. Hon. Robert (Bob) Charles Kucera APM, MLA – Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  5. "ABC Local Transcript – WA minister resigns over conflict of interest". 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  6. "ABC News Online – Conflict of interest forces Kucera to resign". 2005. Archived from the original on 14 December 2005. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  7. "Stateline - Kucera Considers Standing As Independent". 2008. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  8. "ABC News - Former health minister Bob Kucera quits politics". 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  9. "Former WA minister Bob Kucera to make political comeback", news.com.au, 17 February 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  10. Mount Lawley (Key Seat), WA Votes 2013, ABC News. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Kim Hames
Member for Yokine
2001–2008
Abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
John Day
Minister for Health
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Jim McGinty
Preceded by
Clive Brown
Minister for Tourism
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
Clive Brown
Minister for Small Business
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Alan Carpenter
Preceded by
Alan Carpenter
Minister for Sport and Recreation
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
Jim McGinty
Minister for Peel and the South-West
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
Sheila McHale
Minister for Disability Services
2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
Geoff Gallop
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests
2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan
Preceded by
Sheila McHale
Minister for Seniors
2005
Succeeded by
Mark McGowan