Eric Stephen Ripper AM (born 13 September 1951) is a retired Australian politician. From 2008 to 2012 he was Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Labor Party in Western Australia.
He grew up on a wheat/sheep farm near Nyabing. Ripper later attended Churchlands Senior High School and the University of Western Australia, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education. Before entering politics, Ripper had a career as a teacher.
He entered the Parliament of Western Australia in 1988, after winning a by-election in the Electoral district of Ascot. That seat was abolished for the general election held a year later, and Ripper followed most of his constituents into the recreated seat of Belmont. Ripper served as Minister for Community Services and Minister for Disability Services in the Lawrence Ministry (1991–1993).
Labor was defeated in the 1993 election, and Ripper served as an opposition frontbencher for eight years. By 1997, he had become Deputy Leader of the state Labor Party, and hence Deputy Leader of the Opposition, under Geoff Gallop. Labor regained government in 2001, and Ripper was named Deputy Premier of Western Australia. At various times during Gallop's tenure, he served as Treasurer, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Energy and Minister Assisting the Minister for Public Sector Management in the Gallop government. When Gallop announced his retirement from politics in 2006 whilst off-duty as Premier, Ripper briefly served as acting premier until Gallop's official resignation as Premier when Alan Carpenter was elected as state Labor leader and premier. Under Carpenter, Ripper served as Deputy Premier and Treasurer.
Ripper succeeded Carpenter as WA leader of the ALP on 23 September 2008. In January 2011, Labor MP Ben Wyatt intended to challenge Ripper for the Labor leadership, but withdrew after finding minority support amongst caucus.
On 17 January 2012, Ripper announced that he would stand down as Opposition Leader at a caucus meeting on 23 January, and retire from parliament at the 2013 state election. Mark McGowan, who had been managing opposition business in the House, was elected unopposed as his successor. Ripper thus became only the second WA Labor leader in decades not to take the party into an election.
Ripper retired at the 2013 state election and Ripper's seat was won by Glenys Godfrey of the Liberal Party, the former Mayor of Belmont.
Ripper lives in Rivervale and has two sons. His partner is former Education Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich.