Midway through his second term in office, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan abruptly announced his resignation, claiming weariness.
The 55-year-old Mr. McGowan said on Monday that he would be resigning from his positions as treasurer, premier, and representative for Rockingham.
“This week will be my final week,” he told reporters.
“I’ve loved the challenge of solving problems, making decisions, getting outcomes, and helping people.
“But the truth is, I’m tired – extremely tired.
“In fact, I’m exhausted.”
The premier claimed that the COVID-19 years had exhausted him from the demanding nature of the political leadership post.
He stated that other from taking a break, he had no immediate intentions.
“I’m convinced WA Labor can win – and will win- the next election in 2025,” Mr McGowan said.
“But I just don’t have the energy or drive that is required to continue in the role as premier or to fight that election, which would have been my eighth election as a member of parliament.”
The former Navy attorney who helped Western Australia through the outbreak is under criticism for the border closures.
The premier claimed he had no regrets about his time in office despite engaging in bitter defamation litigation with billionaire Clive Palmer and picking fights with opposing politicians over issues like the state’s GST income share and even Australia’s relations with China.
Anthony Albanese, the prime minister, claimed to have congratulated Mr. McGowan earlier on Monday.
Premier will step down as he led, on his terms, and as his own man, according to Mr. Albanese.
“He has been a great premier of his proud state, an extraordinary leader for WA Labor and a trusted friend.
“Above all, Mark will be remembered for seeing the people of Western Australian safely through one of the most challenging crises in our nation’s history.
“In unprecedented times, Mark always held to his convictions and always sought to do the right thing by his state.”
The state’s largest parliamentary majority in state history was won by Labor under the leadership of the premier in the elections of 2017 and 2021, which left the opposition with only a small number of seats.
Prior to deciding on his future, Mr. McGowan had vowed he would finish the rest of his second term as premier.
The prime minister made the declaration while being supported by his Sarah and members of his ministry.
Mr. McGowan claimed that he had been thinking of leaving “for quite a while,” but had delayed doing so until after the state budget was passed.
The premier spent years in opposition before winning elections.
As premier and a member of parliament for nearly 30 years, he added, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the WA community.
“It’s way beyond what I could ever have imagined my career would amount to,” he said.
The front-runners to succeed Mr. McGowan include Deputy Premier Roger Cook, Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson, and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
He claimed that recent criticism of the government’s treatment of juvenile detainees at the Banksia Hill detention facility had no bearing on his choice.
“There’s always things you think you could do better … I try not to dwell,” he said.
Mr. McGowan stated that he wished to be regarded as an achiever who strengthened and improved the state.