In the Gallop Labor government, Fran was a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minsters for Agriculture and Environment for four years. After being re-elected to government in 2005, Fran held Ministerial portfolios in Housing and Works, Energy, Science, Mining and Industry until August 2008.
Fran was born in South London in the UK and came to Western Australia in October 1980 as a self-declared "refugee" from Margret Thatchers Britain. He is married to Vivienne (a Western Australian) and they have two children, Alexandra and Henry.
Trade trained as a mechanic, Fran has worked in the automotive and aircraft industries and spent time working for Rio Tinto at the iron ore mine in Paraburdoo, (where he met Vivienne) and for the mining service industry in Sydney.
In the UK, Fran attended Whyteleafe Primary School and St Thomas More Secondary School in Purley before completing his mechanical trade training to Associate Diploma level at Croydon Technical College.
In Australia, Fran completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours at the University of Sydney and won the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) 1986 economics prize for his thesis on trade relations between Australia Japan and China.
Fran worked as a fitter for Rio Tinto at Paraburdoo and Howard Bagshaw in Sydney. His trade work allowed him to fund himself full time through the University of Sydney for four years.
After Uni, Fran was employed by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and spent four years at the National Office in Sydney before transferring back to WA. In total, Fran spent 15 years working for the AMWU representing workers in many industries and for 5 years up to 2001, he was located in the Union office in Naval Base.
Representing the people of Cockburn
State seat of Cockburn has changes its boundaries at each election since 2001, so Fran has represented residents from as far north as Carrington St, Hamilton Hill to as far south as Wellard Rd, Kwinana.
At the March 2013 election, Cockburn's boundaries are from the Freeway to the Sea on the east/west axis and from Spearwood Ave in the north to Rowley Rd in the south.
As a place, the District of Cockburn has been transformed over the period that Fran has been the Member of Parliament. And whilst he would never be so presumptuous to claim credit for all the change, Fran has played a significant role in "Making Cockburn Better". Some of the changes Fran has been involved with are:
• Creating the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson. Whilst a Union official with the AMWU, Fran lobbied for investment to create a world-class fabrication yard so that WA could bid for mining, marine, oil and gas manufacturing. Since his election, Fran has been directly involved in achieving nearly $500 million investment for the Common User Facility and associated infrastructure. This is turn has led to the creation of over 5000 direct jobs in the Henderson area and thousands more in support.
• Cleaning the air and environment around Cockburn! In 2001 you recognised the district of Cockburn from the range of odours that were always present: Watsonia Meatworks, Cockburn Cement and Woodman Point Waste Water Treatment Plant, to name a few culprits, released horrible odours that stopped residents enjoying their home life or even having BBQ's on the weekends.
Following long campaigns, supported by loyal and dedicated residents; Watsonia is closed and the site now is being redeveloped for housing; Cockburn Cement has installed a bag-house filter of lime kiln 6 and is in the process of installing a filter on kiln 5 and will move cement processing to Kwinana allowing the closure of kilns 3 and 4,thus removing key sources of dust and odour; Watercorp has installed odour control technology costing $120 million to remove the foul smells from its treatment plant and burn them, allowing Coogee and Munster residents to enjoy their summer evenings outdoors at last.
• Finally completing the in-fill sewerage program in Cockburn. In the first Barnett Liberal/National budget in 2009, the $100 million in-fill sewerage program left by Labor was cancelled...for good! This left Spearwood and Coogee residents seething with anger as their part of the program had literally just started. Following a direct and high-profile media campaign with the Spearwood Residents Association and key Coogee residents Fran was successful in forcing the budget to be overturned and the Premier agreed to put $15 million back into Watercorp so that Spearwood and Coogee in-fill sewerage could be completed. At the next budget in 2010, all $100 million was reinstated and after Fran's massive parliamentary pressure, the Water Minister Graham Jacob's was sacked in December 2010.
Other investments that has transformed Cockburn, directly related to WA Labor or Fran's local work:
• The Perth to Mandurah Southern Rail Network;
• The giant Fiona Stanley Teaching Hospital;
• Cockburn Central as a Transport Oriented Development;
• The relocation of FESA to Cockburn Central;
• Expansion of Beeliar (A joint venture development when Fran was Housing Minister);
• Pressuring the City Of Cockburn and the State government to upgrade regional roads (and we still have a long way to go!) Fran has presented petitions with over 4700 signatures from local residents demanding a new bridge between North Lake and Armadale Rds, a new train station at Atwell and traffic lights and improvements around Cockburn Central.
• Pressuring the State government to build more car parking at Cockburn Central station. Immediately after the 2008 election, Fran campaigned to make the Barnett government live up to its elections promise and build more car bays at Cockburn station first. He presented petitions with from almost 1400 residents demanding more car parking. We have been successful and more car bays have been built, but still not enough!
Over the years Fran has helped thousands of constituents from Cockburn and from other local electorates with everything from Homeswest issues to City of Cockburn Council problems, Watercorp, electricity issues and even helping out physically when resident's homes have been inundated following torrential rain.
Fran works closely with local sporting clubs and community associations often with their applications for more funding from the government or Council or simply donations to quiznights and other fundraising events. Many people from Cockburn have even enjoyed a meal at Parliament House as a result of a prize given by Fran. Also many local budding sports stars have been sponsored or supported by Fran when travelling to represent the State or Australia.
Recently Fran went with the Rotary Club of Cockburn to Timor-Leste to help re-build a medical centre in a remote village outside the capital Dili. All costs material costs were raised by local residents, businesses, State Labor MP's and WA trade unions. It was a very successful project that went very smoothly and the centre became occupied with patients even before we left the village. If you want to see photos of this project, please come and look in the front window of my electorate office at Gateway's shopping centre.