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WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt to stand down, will not contest next election

“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.”

Mr Wyatt has been in state parliament for 15 years, having won a byelection in 2006 following the resignation of former premier Geoff Gallop.

Premier McGowan thanked Mr Wyatt for his service, and said he had “always thought he’d be premier of the state”.

Mr Wyatt, who said he had been considering this decision since the middle of last year, said he had no regrets.

“Once you make this decision you make it, you’re not half in and half out,” he said.

“Everyone’s in this job subject to the support of [their] loved ones. My daughters have only known me as an MP and a minister and they don’t see much of me.

“When I first got elected I didn’t have any kids. I came in at 31 thinking everything was possible. But it’s a job that as each year goes by becomes more demanding on your time.”

Mr Wyatt has ruled out a tilt at federal politics.

“This decision has not been easy, but I hope, for the reasons I have outlined, it is a decision that can be understood,” he said.

“Moving forward, I have a job to finish. The budget process for 2020-21 has begun and I look forward to handing down my final budget in May.

“Beyond that and beyond the next election, with Mark McGowan as Premier, I am extremely confident this state government will continue its positive work for the people of Western Australia.”

Mr Wyatt said he had been considering retiring from Parliament for about 12 months.

“I understand that this announcement presents the Premier with a decision to make about my future in his cabinet and I’ve discussed this at length with the Premier,” he said.

“As a result of these discussions, I will be continuing in my roles as a minister in the McGowan Government until the state election.”

Mr Wyatt said he had returned the economy to growth and restore the state government’s finances, which had been the task set for him after the 2017 election.

“Both of these have now been achieved. Western Australia is now in surplus and we’re the only state government in Australia that is reducing debt.”

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey thanked Mr Wyatt for his significant contribution to public life in Western Australia.

“I wish him and his family all the best for the future,” she said.

Speculation turns to Hannah Beazley to replace Ben Wyatt

Labor candidate Hannah Beazley during the 2019 federal election.

Labor candidate Hannah Beazley during the 2019 federal election.Credit:AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

Following the announcement of Mr Wyatt’s intention to retire at the next state election in 2021, speculation inside Labor turned to who would likely be chosen by Labor’s factions to replacer him in the safe seat of Victoria Park.

The seat has long been a stronghold for the right faction of the party, with Geoff Gallop holding it for 20 years before Mr Wyatt won it in a byelection after the former premier’s retirement.

Hannah Beazley, who stood unsuccessfully for Labor at the last federal election in Swan which covers Victoria Park, is considered a frontrunner if she chooses to take another tilt at state politics.

Ms Beazley stood unsuccessfully against former Liberal leader Mike Nahan in Riverton in 2013 and then failed to win a spot in the upper house in 2017.

She is the daughter of former Federal Swan MP and WA Governor Kim Beazley, and the granddaughter of Kim Beazley Snr, education minister in the Whitlam Government.

Ms Beazley was contacted for comment.

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