THE federal MP for Perth Tim Hammond has announced his resignation, saying he wants to spend more time with his wife and three young children.
“As much as I have tried desperately, I just cannot reconcile my life as a federal member of parliament with being the father I need – and want – to be to my three children, whom are six years, two and a half years and seven months old.
“This is a decision that I have privately agonised over for many months and reflected most deeply upon. It is not taken lightly.”
The barrister, elected in July 2016, was considered by Labor to be one of their top prospects and was immediately given three shadow assistant ministerships.
Just two months later he became a shadow minister, taking on the consumer affairs portfolio and railing against scammy ticket scalpers and predatory payday lenders.
Mr Hammond said Wednesday May 2: “Even from opposition, life between parliamentary, portfolio and local community obligations has meant being away from home even more than I had anticipated.
“The reality is that I thought I had an appreciation of how to manage my duties as a federal member of parliament in a way that did not have such an impact on my family.
“I got that wrong: I just did not anticipate the profound effect my absence would have on all of us.
“As a direct result of me being away from home, the strength of the relationships that I have built with my children have suffered in a way that is simply unsustainable for us as a family, and me as a dad.
“I am not saying that the life of a WA federal MP is unmanageable. Many of my colleagues make it work. But it is time to be brutally honest and admit that I am not one of them.
“My wife Lindsay and I have tried incredibly hard to make this work. As well as having relied upon support from family, friends and colleagues, I have actively sought out professional advice and assistance to try and preserve our family unit in a way that I felt confident would not suffer from my absence.”
He’ll stay on for a short time to tie up loose ends, and his standing down will likely trigger a by-election for the hotly contested seat, won by Labor in 2016 with a 3.3 per cent margin. Liberal candidate Jeremy Quinn won the primary vote that year with 42.3 per cent, but preferences from the Greens voters carried Labor across the line.
stories by DAVID BELL