Hardly family friendly hours

STATE Perth MP John Carey has paid tribute to his federal counterpart, saying he could understand the pressure the job places on your personal time.

“I sincerely want to thank Tim Hammond for his work and public service to the federal electorate of Perth, following the announcement of his resignation. He’s also been a great support to me personally.

“I think people often forget being an MP, whether state or federal, is now a 24-hour job. Wherever you go, people stop you, ask for assistance, contact you on social media from early morning to midnight, call you, text you and you have little to no personal time.”

He told the Voice he went to Beatty Park gym recently and across a 45-minute workout three people approached him to raise issues.

Single

“I’m honoured, and I’m not whinging or complaining … I want to be accessible and I want people to feel comfortable coming up to me. That’s the job and I love it.”

He adds it’s easier for him to handle because “I’m single: I’ve got a dog and that’s it. With three young children, and that trip to Canberra? It’d be very difficult.”

“Tim had an even tougher role – young family, three children travelling back and forth from Canberra, it’s gotta take a toll … I respect his decision entirely.”

Seasoned political reporter Peter Kennedy told the ABC this week he’d seen the toll being a federal MP took across the years.

“It’s extremely difficult, particularly for young families,” Mr Kennedy said.

“The political landscape is strewn with failed marriages from all over the country, but particularly from WA.

“The casualty rate is very high and that’s the tragic side of the political equation.”

Former federal Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke also raised the tyranny of distance in her decision not to recontest her seat in 2016, saying her new husband at the time, developer Warwick Hemsley, gave her a bit of stick about how much time she spent over east.

“There is absolutely no leeway for people from WA and other remote areas like the Northern Territory,” Ms Parke said at the time, calling on Parliament to be modernised so remote MPs could do more of their duties at home through innovations like teleconferencing.

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