Colin James Barnett was born in Nedlands, Western Australia on 15 July 1950.
He was educated at Nedlands Primary School and Hollywood Senior High School before obtaining an Honours and Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia.
Colin began his working career in Canberra after winning a cadetship with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
He returned to Western Australia to lecture in economics at Curtin University and took a position as a visiting fellow at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.
In his early 30s, Colin was appointed as Economist at the Confederation of Western Australian Industry, which would later become the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA).
From 1985 to 1990 Colin was Executive Director of the CCIWA, assisting with the growth and development of Western Australian businesses, both domestically and internationally.
Colin is married to Lyn and has four sons.
When he has the chance, Colin enjoys a game of tennis and sheep breeding on the small family farm.
Achievements in Government
Colin is best known for his role in the economic development of Western Australia. As a Minister, he was involved in major projects including the Goldfields Gas Pipeline, hydro electric power on the Ord River, the Onslow Salt Project, expansion of the North West Shelf Project and the Perth underground power project.
As Education Minister he introduced a kindergarten program and pre-primary year for all students in Western Australia.
He also pursued special interests such as the preservation of the ancient rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
In October 2010, he announced the creation of the Kimberley Wilderness Parks, one of the most significant environmental initiatives in Western Australia's history. The Kimberley Wilderness Parks include the State's largest interconnected system of marine and terrestrial parks and cover more than 3.5 million hectares of one of the world's last great wilderness areas.
As Premier, Colin holds a strong pro-development position and is committed to large scale projects around the state that will provide a strong foundation for Western Australia's economic growth, including a liquefied natural gas precinct for the Kimberley region and a new deep sea port at Oakajee near Geraldton. For the capital city of Perth, he is planning to sink the railway that physically divides the central business district, develop a major city square and create a waterfront tourism area on the Swan River.
Colin is also committed to ensuring economic growth supports all Western Australians, including the most vulnerable, through the Liberal-National Government's strong and innovative social agenda.