Ian Macfarlane quits, won't contest next election
MEMBER for Groom Ian Macfarlane has announced he will not contest the next election.
In a statement released Mr Macfarlane said: "Today I confirm I will not contest the next federal election due later this year.
"After almost 18 years representing the constituents of Groom, serving nine of those years as a Cabinet Minister and Minister under the Howard and Abbott governments, and a further 6 years as a shadow minister, the time is right to pass the baton.
"After 32 years in public life in agripolitics and politics, I will now be looking for new challenges to use my wealth of knowledge and experience in the resources, industry and science sectors for the betterment of our great nation.
"I am truly grateful for the opportunities to serve the nation over the years and greatly appreciate the support I have received from my family, my electorate and ministerial staff and members of the LNP."
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The statement came after months of speculation about his political future.
Mr Macfarlane told The Chronicle on Thursday he would be announcing his decision before the end of the month.
The veteran politician was left in political limbo after an attempted defection to the National Party in December.
The defection attempt came after he lost his position as Science and Industry Minister in September's cabinet reshuffle to Christopher Pyne.
He had backed Prime Minister Turnbull against former PM Tony Abbott in their leadership tussle and was "surprised" when he was dumped as minister.
At the time Mr Macfarlane justified the attempted defection by saying the region needed to be represented by a minister.