Brian Burke was elected as the Premier of Western Australia on 25 February 1983, ending nine years of the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party being in opposition. Burke, who had started out as a journalist at The West Australian and later moved into radio and television reporting, was elected to parliament in 1973 and was elected as Leader of the Opposition in 1981. 
After five years as Premier, amid mounting controversy over his government's deals with business dubbed WA Inc, Burke resigned on 25 February 1988. He was appointed as Australia's ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See by the federal Labor government. However, as details of his role in business deals became public through the hearings of the WA Inc Royal Commission, he was forced to resign his role as Ambassador to Ireland. Based on recommendations from the Royal Commission, Burke was charged with a range of offences and was sentenced to two years prison sentence but was released on parole after serving seven months. 
Burke subsequently remained an active member of the Labor Party and re-invented himself as a lobbyist.
In November 2006 a the Corruption and Crime Commission revealed that it had taped phone conversations between Burke and the Western Australian Small Business Minister, Norm Marlborough. The conversations revealed that the Minister took directions from Burke, The Australian reported, on "how to respond to questions in parliament." The Premier of Western Australia Alan Carpenter, sacked Marlborough and forced Burke to quit the party. 
Website of WA Inc Commission of Inquiry
- Western Australian Government Commissions of Inquiry (scroll down to bottom for link)
Website of Corruption and Crime Commission of Western Australia
Other SourceWatch Resources
- Constitutional Centre biographical entry
- John Curtin University, "Brian Thomas Burke, AC (b. 1947)", accessed February 2007.
- "ABC News: Burke a 'highly successful premier', ABC News, February 5, 2006.
- "Former WA premier to quit ALP", The Australian, November 9, 2006.
- Andrew Burrell, "Inquiry eyes Burke's bank links", Australian Financial Review, February 12, 2007.
- Andrew Burrell, "Inquiry seeks money trail clarification", Australian Financial Review, February 15, 2007.
- Andrew Burrell, "Burke claimed ear of six ministers, CCC told", Australian Financial Review, February 22, 2007.
- Andrew Burrell, "Second Minister's scalp hangs in balance", Australian Financial Review, February 23, 2007.
- David Humphries, "I'll stop Burke: Premier sacks another minister", Sydney Morning Herald, February 28, 2007.
- Jan Mayman, "With a nod and a WA Inc", The Australian, March 10, 2007.
- Amanda O'Brien, "Ailing Brian Burke stays away, as his allies have a day in court", The Australian, December 13-14, 2008.
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