Just nine months after the state election defeat, former Liberal Premier and current Cottesloe MP Colin Barnett announced that he will quit politics.
After months of speculation, Mr Barnett finally confirmed his future this morning during a radio interview on the ABC.
He says his final public event will be on next year’s Australia Day.
“I have decided to retire from politics, people have been expecting that,” Mr Barnett said.
“My intention is my last public events will be Australia Day and the Cottesloe to Rottnest swim, I’ve had it my mind for a few months.”
He stated that he not a sort of person that ‘quit and run’, he also felt that he has a responsibility to stay.
“I’ve been in politics 27 years, I’ve seen out this year. That’s long enough, I feel a little bit like the elephant in the room,” he continued.
The State Liberals have paid tribute to his retirement, with Opposition Leader Mike Nahan and Deputy Leader Liza Harvey praised Mr Barnett’s performance.
“It’s a sense that a mate, a leader is moving on, and it’s his choosing and he has done it his way,” Dr Nahan said.
“… He has done the right thing, he moved on at the right time.”
Former Transport Minister Dean Nalder also wished Mr Barnett all the best, despite he quit cabinet during the Colin’s leadership back in September 2016.
Mr Nalder’s resignation has triggered a leadership crisis within the WA Liberal Party,
“Politics is a tough game, it’s not simple, it’s not easy and you could say I’ve been through a very steep learning curve in the last 4 years,” Mr Nalder said.
“We are colleagues and we get on what we have to do. He’s made a decision to move on, I applaud him on his record as a MP for Cottesloe for 27 years and wish him all the best in the future.”
It’s yet to know who will be taking up the Liberal Candidate spot for the Cottesloe By-Election, but Deputy Leader Liza Harvey will like to see gender equality in the pre-selection race.
“For a pre-selection like this (Cottesloe seat), I will like to see 50 percent women, 50 percent men, and then name the best person there,” Liza Harvey said.