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Members’ biographical register

Mr William (Bill) Ian Thomas

Date: 18 September, 1950
Place: Perth, Western Australia
Son of Edmund Leslie Thomas, variously timber worker, miner, soldier, storeman and customs officer, and Elsie Gertrude Membrey
Marriage and Family
Married 19 April 1980, Wesley Church, Perth to Katherine Ann Fitzgerald, daughter of Kenneth Edward Fitzgerald and Katherine May Hatch
Children: two sons
Not stated
Educated Carlisle Primary School 1956–1959, Attadale Primary School 1960–1962 and Melville Senior High School 1963–1967
Full-time university student and trainee teacher 1968–1970
University of Western Australia— Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1972, Master of Arts (MA) 2002
Murdoch University—Graduate Diploma Migration Law 2007
Union secretary and ministerial adviser
Employment History
Builders’ Labourers Survey hand Westrail 1971
Painter and docker State Shipping Service 1972–1974
Education research officer WAIT Student Guild 1974–1976
Employed at Library, Murdoch University 1976–1977
Industrial officer and assistant secretary Builders’ Labourers Federation (BLF) 1978–1983
Ministerial Officer (Special Services) with Minister for Minerals and Energy 1983–1985
Joined Young Labor Association 1967, University branch 1968, subsequently member of Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), Bentley, Mt Pleasant, and Welshpool branches of Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Variously delegate to Curtin, Tangney, Swan and Fremantle Electorate Councils 1970–2000
Delegate to State Executive and all state conferences since 1973
Western Australian delegate to Federal Conferences 1982–1992
Senior vice president ALP WA branch 1982–1989
Chairman ALP Conservation and Environmental Committee 1980–1990
Date Elected
8 February 1986
Inaugural Speech
Thomas, William Ian, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Bill Thomas
Thomas, William Ian, Valedictory Speech.pdfThomas, William Ian, Valedictory Speech.pdf
Year Retired/Resigned
Welshpool; Cockburn
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Welshpool* 8 February 1986–4 February 1989 (electorate abolished in redistribution). Elected to the Thirty-second Parliament for Welshpool on 8 February 1986 in succession to Colin John Jamieson (retired). Electorate abolished in redistribution 1988.
  • MLA Cockburn 4 February 1989–10 February 2001. Elected to Thirty-third Parliament for Cockburn on 4 February 1989 in succession to Norman Richard Marlborough (elected for Peel). Re-elected 1993, 1996. Did not contest general election 10 February 2001.

  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 1986–1989, 4 November 1992–January 1993
  • Deputy Government Whip 1986–1989
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet 28 February 1989–20 October 1992
  • Shadow Minister for Water Resources (until 7 February 1994), Science and Technology, and Energy (from 7 February 1994) 17 February 1993–23 January 1995
  • Shadow Minister for Energy, Science and Technology, and Commerce and Trade 23 January 1995–15 January 1997
  • Shadow Minister for Energy, Higher Education, and Science and Technology 15 January 1997–4 August 1999

  • Member Standing Orders Committee 1988–January 1993
  • Member Public Accounts and Expenditure Review Committee (PAERC) 22 June 1993–19 August 1993
  • Member Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation 2 December 1998–10 January 2001
  • Member Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Intergovernmental Agreements 11 May 2000– 10 January 2001
  • Deputy Chairman Joint Standing Committee on the Anti-Corruption Commission 12 November 1996–10 January 2001
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege 1986, on a Matter of Privilege 1988, on the Official Corruption Commission Act 1988 27 November 1991–5 March 1992, on the Recommendations of that Committee 26 May 1992–24 September 1992, and on a Matter of Privilege relating to the Premature Release of the PAERC Draft report on the Notre Dame Land Grant 16 September 1992–12 November 1992
  • Chairman Select Committee on Science and Technology 4 August 1993–24 November 1994

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented Western Australian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at 24th Australasian and Pacific Regional Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, 1997
Member at various times Painters and Dockers Union, Maritime Workers Union and BLF
Active in Vietnam Action Campaign 1966 and subsequently in various organisations including Vietnam Moratorium Campaign and the Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases in Australia
Served short sentence in Fremantle Gaol as a draft resister
Member Guild of Undergraduates Council 1970
Founding member Campaign to Save Native Forests in WA 1975
Member National Council Australia Conservation Foundation 1975–1977
Consultant to Joint Standing Committee on the Anti-Corruption Commission 2002, reporting on accountability and the police
Chairman Port Kennedy Development Board 2003–2010
Qualified and registered as a migration agent 2003 and employed as a migration agent by CASE for Refugees from 2004
Long standing member South Fremantle Football Club and founding member of Fremantle (Dockers) Football Club
Justice of the Peace
BA, MA, Grad Dip Migration Law
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 252.
Parliament of Western Australia, Former Members, Parliament of Western Australia website, accessed 21 May 2014.
Further Information