|Member of the Western Australian Parliament |
3 February 2007 –6 September 2008
|Preceded by||Norm Marlborough|
|Member of the Western Australian Parliament |
6 September 2008
|Born||12 July 1962|
Bunbury, Western Australia
|Political party||Labor Party|
|Occupation||Navy clearance diver|
|Branch/service||Royal Australian Navy|
|Years of service||1978–2004|
|Battles/wars|| United Nations Special Commission |
|Awards||Conspicuous Service Cross|
Paul Papalia CSC (born 12 July 1962) is an Australian politician. He has been a Labor Party member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly since February 2007. Originally the member for Peel. he is now the member for Warnbro. A decorated former navy diver who served two tours in Iraq, Papalia entered parliament after winning a by-election sparked by the resignation of scandal-tarred former minister Norm Marlborough.
Papalia was born in Bunbury, Western Australia and grew up in the nearby small town of Burekup. He served in the Royal Australian Navy for 26 years before entering politics, working as a navy diver and rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. He specialised in explosives retrieval and escape and rescue.He served with the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq during the early 1990s, and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 1994 for his work there. Papalia later returned to Iraq during the Iraq War, serving as executive officer in an Australian mine-clearing team. He left the navy in 2004, and operated a small business renovating houses up until the time of his election to parliament. He publicly opposes the Iraq War, and has advocated a rapid withdrawal of Australian forces from the country.
In November 2006, state Minister for Small Business Norm Marlborough resigned from parliament after it was revealed that he had lied to the Corruption and Crime Commission about his dealings with disgraced former Premier of Western Australia Brian Burke, thus triggering a by-election in his electorate of Peel.Peel had been held by the Labor Party since the seat's inception and was generally considered a safe Labor seat, but concerns about an electoral backlash over Marlborough's conduct led the party to look for a candidate without a political background. Papalia thus nominated for Labor preselection in the by-election, and was easily successful – despite having only joined the party weeks before – after receiving strong support from Premier Alan Carpenter. He went on to easily win the by-election, receiving a small swing in his favour in a seat that the government had feared they might lose.
The district of Peel was abolished with effect at the 2008 state election. Papalia instead successfully contested the new seat of Warnbro, which covers much the same area.
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|Western Australian Legislative Assembly|
| Member for Peel |
| Member for Warnbro |