WELL known WA Nationals member Terry “Tuck” Waldron has announced his retirement from cabinet.
Mr Waldron, who is Racing and Gaming Minister, announced on Tuesday that he would be stepping down from the ministry some time before Christmas and moving to the backbench, but will remain as member for Wagin.
The 63-year-old was elected in 2001, the same year he was appointed WA Nationals’ deputy leader.
Mr Waldron is regarded as one of the nice guys of WA politics and is well known in regional and rural areas, thanks to his passion for country sport and the role it plays in regional communities.
Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Waldron was general manager of the WA Country Football League, managed his own real estate business in Kojonup, was a sports development officer for the Great Southern, and a farmer.
A talented sportsman, he has played football and cricket at the highest levels and is a former captain of the Australian Country XI.
“It’s been very much like when I played footy and when I played cricket. You just sort of know when the time is right,” Mr Waldron said.
“I’ve given 110 per cent but I don’t know whether I could continue to do that.
“That tells me that it’s a good time for myself to step down, but also it’s the right decision for the government and my colleagues.”
In an at times emotional address, Tuck paid tribute to his wife Noelene, his four daughters Jemma, Bonnie, Kelly and Jessica and said he looked forward to spending more time with his four granddaughters, admitting he had neglected his own advice to ministerial staff to make sure they spend enough time with family.
He said he was keen to give his successor enough time to establish themselves before the election.
Premier Colin Barnett has told frontbenchers that they would have to take a back seat up to a year prior to the 2017 State election if they didn’t plan to run.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Kim Hames has announced he will retire from politics at the election.