On Monday, the news from Perth that the Prime Minister of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, was resigning! The leader of the Labor Party in this Australian state called a press conference where he announced that he will retire not only from the head of the government, but also from politics.
Surrounded by ministers and other party colleagues, McGowan said he had been honored to serve the people of Western Australia in various capacities for almost three decades, adding that he felt exhausted and worn out.
– My career has gone far beyond what I could have ever imagined. Western Australia gave me the opportunity of a lifetime – said McGowan, thanking his family, colleagues and voters.
The outgoing prime minister also pointed out that the work he performed was “relentless and comprehensive every day”, and that he no longer has “the energy and will to continue”.
– The truth is that I am tired, extremely tired. In fact, I’m exhausted from everything – said McGowan.
As he says, he did not make the decision to quit lightly, but “a lot has accumulated over time.” He especially emphasized that he was not a combative person by nature, and for a long time he performed a “confrontational function”.
Speaking about his performance in the position of Premier of Western Australia, which he came to after the 2017 election, McGowan particularly highlighted the economy, primarily the increase of Western Australia’s share in the distribution of revenue from the national GST tax.
He also spoke about his contribution to the development of the transport and traffic sector, the improvement of hospitals, the adoption of laws on euthanasia, as well as environmental initiatives and the improvement of the education system.
– All that, combined with the years of covid, completely exhausted me. I am convinced that Labor can win the next election in 2025, but I simply do not have the energy or enthusiasm needed to continue being prime minister – he added.
The citizens of Western Australia and history will remember him as the leader who during the pandemic introduced one of the strictest measures, not only on the continent, but also globally.
Western Australia was the longest-locked and isolated state, with draconian curfews and later mandatory vaccinations that required all civil servants, as well as employees in other industries, to continue doing their jobs.
Despite this, in one post-endemic period he reached an incredible personal approval rating of an incredible 91 percent of the electorate who believed in him, compared to the leader of the Liberals. He convincingly won the elections in 2021, but later his popularity declined and today it is no longer so pronounced.
However, McGowan says he has achieved what he wanted when he became prime minister.
– When I was elected, I had ambitions for this country. I wanted Western Australia to become the strongest and most successful Australian state. I wanted us to become more economically diversified and have the strongest public finances. I wanted him to be a social reformer with significant achievements in the preservation and protection of the environment, to provide citizens with quality public services and long-term infrastructure for the future. I stand here today and I know that our country is in the position that I intended to achieve – emphasized the outgoing Prime Minister of Western Australia.
McGowan first entered the Parliament of Western Australia as MP for Rockingham in 1996. He became the Labor leader in 2012 and after five years in the opposition, he became prime minister in 2017 and held that position for six years.
In the end, this 56-year-old politician pointed out that he “doesn’t regret anything” and that he does not intend to retire yet. When he rests well and recovers, he says he will look for something else to do…
McGowan also said that he decided to step down as much as 20 months before the next election in order to allow his successor to be “cemented” in the position. Who will succeed him in office will be decided by the leadership of the Labor Party for Western Australia, which now needs to choose a new leader.
According to most political reporters from Perth, the main candidates for the position of Western Australian premier are current McGowan’s deputy Roger Cook and current health minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.
Eulogies of the Federal Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese did not spare compliments and eulogies at the expense of McGowan.
– He led Western Australia on his own terms and as his own man. He was a great Premier of a proud state, an outstanding leader of Western Australian Labor and a trusted friend. Above all, Mark will be remembered for safely leading the people of his state through one of the most challenging crises in our nation’s history. In unprecedented times, Mark always stuck to his convictions and always tried to do the right thing – said Albanese.
The end of the cult of a personality
Unlike his party colleagues, rivals do not have many kind words for McGowan.
– The politics of Western Australia will now be transformed. There will no longer be the politics of one person, the personality cult of the man who sucked the oxygen out of the political debate in the country. Everything in his term revolved only around him – said liberal senator Linda Reynolds.
McGowan’s longtime critic, mining magnate Clive Palmer, said Western Australia had suffered “years of neglect” and tweeted only a short, ironic message: “Goodbye McGowan. Goodbye”. The outgoing Prime Minister and Clive Palmer also ended up in court for mutual defamation and both had to pay fines for their misdemeanors.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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