Wayne Swan, former treasurer and deputy prime minister who helped guide Australia through the Global Financial Crisis, has announced plans to retire at the next federal election.
Mr Swan served both the Rudd and Gillard governments, and served in parliament for more than two decades.
“The inescapable fact is I’m approaching a stage in life where it’s simply not possible to be 100 per cent committed as a local MP and meet other important obligations – making time for our newest arrival, my first grandchild, pursuing my passions, especially maintaining the fight against inequality, and keeping fit and healthy,” Mr Swan said in a statement announcing his decision.
Mr Swan has said that he would like to see his seat taken up by a young woman.
“I think it would be fitting if the party were to select on this occasion, a young woman with the energy and smarts to represent Lilley forcefully and successfully,” he said.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten praised the legacy of Mr Swan in a statement on Twitter.
“Wayne Swan lives and breathes Labor values and they are writ large through his legacy. He helped save this country from recession – there are millions of Australians whose livelihoods are better because of Swanny,” he said on twitter.
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek also joined in thanking Mr Swan for his service to Australia.
“Thank you @SwannyQLD for your lifetime of service to the Australian people. Wayne will be remembered as one of the greatest Treasurers in our nation’s history. The Federal Parliament won’t be the same, but he’ll forever be a giant of the great ALP. We are in his debt,” she wrote on Twitter.