West Australian federal Liberal MP Steve Irons has announced he will retire from politics to spend more time with family, leaving the key electorate of Swan in Perth’s south up for grabs.
The decision comes just weeks after Mr Irons nominated to recontest the seat at the upcoming federal election and opens the door for Sky News commentator Kirsty McSweeney to secure a nomination.
Liberal MP Steve Irons during a division in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
Ms McSweeney, who unsuccessfully nominated to be the Liberal candidate in state seat of Bateman in the wake of Dean Nalder’s retirement last year, challenged Mr Irons for pre-selection in a last-minute move before nominations closed earlier this month.
In a statement, WA Liberal Party president Fay Duda thanked Mr Irons for his service and wished him and his family well in the next chapter of their lives.
“With over 30 years’ experience in small business and having completed an apprenticeship, Steve has unique real-world experience and has understood better than anyone the challenges many small and family businesses are facing,” the statement read.
“Although Steve is retiring at the end of the parliamentary term, he knows there is still a lot of hard work to be done to continue our transition out of COVID-19 and ensure a strong economic and jobs recovery.”
Mr Irons is known for initiating the National Redress Scheme, securing funding for the West Coast Eagles to move to Lathlain, and delivering infrastructure upgrades to Manning Road during his time in office.
He is also a close friend of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
His departure means the Liberals will have to fight to retain Swan, where they hold a slim 3.6 margin, without the advantage of an incumbent member.
Mr Irons has held the seat since 2007.
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