WA Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Wyatt, has announced he will not be running in the 2021 state election due to family interests, bringing his political career to an end.
Releasing the details in a statement on Tuesday, Minister Wyatt said he and his family have been considering the move throughout the past year.
“As some may already be aware, my family has experienced a personal health issue which prompted this consideration and the kind of future I want to have with my family,” the statement read.
“My children are of an age that leaves me with a short time to relish new experiences with them, while they still want to hang out with me and before they reach senior levels of high school.”
The State Treasurer said he has discussed the decision with Premier Mark McGowan and that he will retain his roles in the current government until the next election.
“Professionally, being the Member for Victoria Park and a Minister in the McGowan Labor Government has been an incredible experience,” Minister Wyatt said.
“I doubt I will ever have a job as diverse, challenging and satisfying as the role I have had as Treasurer of the State.”
“I know that when I leave my role, I am leaving the State of Western Australia in good hands.”
Minister Wyatt, a Yamatji man, has served four terms in WA Parliament over 15 years and has been the Member for Victoria Park for since his election in 2006.
As Treasurer he has delivered three Budgets and has helped WA reach a financial surplus.
The Premier has shared his well-wishes, saying Minister Wyatt has made an “extremely significant” contribution to the WA Labor Party.
“Under his stewardship [Minister Wyatt] has turned the State’s finances around, and helped get Western Australia back on track,” Premier McGowan said in a statement Tuesday.
“In just three years, we have sorted out the mess, by returning the Budget to surplus, having debt declining and the economy growing again.”
The Premier conceded politics can be a challenging landscape but was steadfast in his opinion that Minister Wyatt had been an integral part of McGowan’s team.
“Political life has many challenges, but the hardest challenge is finding the right balance between work and family life.”
Minister Wyatt is set to deliver his fourth and final Budget for the 2020-21 financial year in May.
By Hannah Cross