After spending 4 years serving as Western Australia’s second most powerful man in-charge, Treasurer & Indigenous Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt will be leaving politics due to family reasons.
This morning, he announced that he won’t be contesting the next state election as the MP for Victoria Park.
It’s understood that Mr Wyatt has been considering stepping back from politics since last year, with extensive discussions with his family and Premier Mark McGowan.
For many journalists who’ve attended the press conference, today’s announcement was a surprise.
“Over the past 12 months, together with my family, I have been considering whether I continue in my role beyond the election as the Member for Victoria Park and Minister in the McGowan Labor Government,” he said.
“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.”
“While I do not intend to go into the finer details of these personal experiences, today I am announcing that in the interests of my family I have decided not to stand as a candidate at the 2021 election.”
“I understand my announcement presents the Premier with a decision to make about my future in his Cabinet. I have discussed this at length with the Premier, and as a result of these discussions, I will be continuing in my ministerial roles until the next election.”
Following the McGowan Government’s landslide election victory in March 2017, Mr Wyatt was appointed as Treasurer & Aboriginal Affairs Minister.
He has been serving an MP for the last 14 years, or 4 terms of Parliament in WA.
Despite inherited a debt ridden budget, Mr Wyatt was able to turn it around due to the increase of WA’s GST floor, and the rise of Iron Ore prices.
As a result, WA’s budget is back in the surplus in 4 years.
Tributes have poured in from Federal and State politicians, with Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt praised Ben Wyatt’s achievements.
“I acknowledge and pay respect to the Hon Ben Wyatt MLA for his contribution to Western Australia’s politics over the past 14 years,” he said.
“While we belong to different political parties, we share an unwavering commitment to the people of WA & Indigenous Australians across our nation.”
“I look forward to continuing to work constructively with Ben in his capacity as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs over the next 12 months, as we strive to deliver improved outcomes for Western Australia’s Indigenous population.”
Ben Wyatt will remains as WA’s Treasurer, Indigenous Affairs Minister and Labor MP for Victoria Park until the state election 2021.