James Andrew (Jim) McGinty (born 22 September 1949) is an Australian politician. He was a Labor member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 2009, representing the district of Fremantle. He was Labor Party leader and Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1996. He served as a minister, most notably as Attorney-General, in the governments of Carmen Lawrence, Geoff Gallop and Alan Carpenter.
McGinty was born in the Western Australian town of Kalgoorlie. He studied Arts and Law at the University of Western Australia. Before entering politics, he worked as an industrial officer, then became Secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers' Union.
First elected to parliament at the 1990 Fremantle state by-election, McGinty became a minister in the government of Carmen Lawrence in 1991.
He was made the Minister for Housing, Construction, Services and Heritage. With the exception of the Services, which he relinquished soon after taking the Environment portfolio in late 1992, McGinty held all these portfolios until Labor's defeat at the 1993 state election.
McGinty became leader of his party in 1994, succeeding Ian Taylor, only to be replaced by Geoff Gallop prior to the 1996 state election. The leadership change was due to a mutual decision between McGinty and Gallop in response to the fact that McGinty could not make a dent on the popularity of Liberal Premier Richard Court in opinion polls. Gallop had been McGinty's deputy and the two swap leadership roles with McGinty now becoming Gallop's deputy. McGinty however was replaced as deputy after the 1996 election by Eric Ripper.
After Labor returned to power at the 2001 state election, McGinty was again on the treasury bench.
He became the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Legal Affairs, Electoral Affairs, Peel and South West. A reshuffle in 2003 saw McGinty remain Attorney-General and Minister for Electoral Affairs, as well becoming Minister for Health. He retained these portfolios until Labor's defeat at the 2008 state election.
McGinty had stood down as ALP leader without having a chance of presenting his case to the people of why he should be Premier at the 1996 election. As minister in the Gallop Government the prospect of him finally becoming Premier became a real possibility when Premier Gallop stood down in 2006. McGinty however did not nominate to replace Premier Gallop as factional deals had ensured Alan Carpenter becoming the next ALP leader and thus Premier.
In the 2008 WA election McGinty faced the prospect of losing his seat to Greens candidate Adele Carles when the Liberal candidate Brian Christie and Carles were neck-and-neck.
If Christie had finished third, most of his preferences would have been transferred to Carles (as Liberal and Labor are both rivals, they would almost certainly have not flowed to Labor), meaning that McGinty would have lost the election by over 3000 votes. Carles eventually slipped to third by 500 votes.
On 3 April 2009, McGinty announced his retirement from politics. This triggered a by-election for his district which the Labor Party lost to Greens candidate Adele Carles.
October 19th, 2011