Neil Thomson MLC
About

Neil Thomson

Since 2021, as the Liberal member for the Mining and Pastoral Region, I have worked tirelessly to ensure my region is represented properly, including:

  • Keeping the Government honest over its response to the devastating floods in the Kimberley making sure the communities voices are heard on the regional crime crisis

  • Fighting for better outcomes in regional centres which are being plagued by poor services and unreliable power supplies.

  • Spearheading the important campaign against the unworkable Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act which was then repealed by the WA Labor Government after its disastrous implementation which put livelihoods and our economy at great risk.

As part of the Opposition team, I am also committed to holding the Government to account on my portfolio areas, which have included Planning, Lands, Environment and Heritage and now extended to the important Treasury portfolio, with the retention of Environment.

We must address rising crime, which is destroying towns in our regions.  We need a circuit breaker to enable people of all ages and backgrounds to transition from disadvantage and a grinding future in-and-out of the justice system.  I am passionate about creating those pathways, but solutions are often held back by red tape and delays in approvals due to a lack of commitment by decision makers. 

My passion is to create opportunities for all Western Australians.

I bring my considerable experience to the table, with almost 30 years in the State Government, including at Senior Executive positions, I have worked hard to promote community, drive opportunities in housing and business, create better services, create jobs and improve urban amenity. My work ethic has been driven to find new ways to be efficient, be market responsive and make my organisations more strategic to improve the outcomes for the broader community.

I have served both in a professional and voluntary basis and I was recognised as a Community Leader by the Premier in 2006 for my services in the arts, youth and community.

Before entering politics, I ran a successful consulting business providing economic and policy advice to Local, State and Federal government agencies as well as private sector clients across northern Australia. This complimented my long career as an economist in the public service. 

I am passionate about reforming our economy to create a strong and enduring climate for investment, sustainable jobs growth while protecting and enhancing our environment. 

Previously, in my career, I have:

  • represented Western Australia on the Business Regulation and Competition Working Group of CoAG which considered the impact of regulations in areas as diverse as housing affordability, transport, water management, commerce and trades licensing.

  • led the review of economic policy and regulations governing the fishing industry.

  • coordinated competition policy reviews in agriculture, water resources, education, training, fisheries and commercial trades licensing.

  • been part of the reform of agricultural statutory marketing boards, supporting negotiations on compensation for farmers in the dairy and egg production sectors as part of the deregulation of those industries.

  • coordinated reviews under the national Competition Principles Agreement.

I have a Master of Science (Agricultural Economics) and I have worked across a broad range of agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries, Treasury, and the Department of Planning, where I was assistant Director General and Secretary of the Western Australian Planning Commission. 

As the Chief Lands Officer (and Executive Director) at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, I was inspired by members of my Board who showed a depth of commitment for some of our most disadvantaged people in our State.  I continue to build on their vision of creating pathways of success for Aboriginal people so they can transition through education into sustainable jobs, businesses and home ownership.

I served as Chief of Staff to the Hon Bill Marmion MLA and the Hon John Day MLA, covering a range of portfolios including Planning, Environment, Housing and Culture & the Arts and have been the Member for Mining and Pastoral Region since 2021.