Liberal MP Christian Porter says he won’t re-contest the next election, as the parliament prepares to sit for the last day of 2021.
Porter said in a message on social media that he was resigning to spend more time with his family after spending most of the past 20 years in public service and political life.
“When you are an obsessive-compulsive type and entrusted with work that you believe in and that you believe is deeply important, the by-product becomes that people in your life that deserve more from you, especially your family, get much less than they deserve,” he said.
Porter was elected as the MP for Pearce, in Perth’s north, in 2013 and has served as social services minister, industrial relations minister, attorney-general and, until September this year, industry, science and technology minister.
Porter stepped down as a minister over a “blind trust” that partly paid for a defamation case he brought against the ABC, after a public backlash raised questions about its donors’ identities not being made public.
The defamation case came about following the media outlet reporting on an unnamed cabinet minister being accused of raping a woman in 1988. Porter strongly denied the allegations, identified himself as the reported cabinet minister at a press conference in March, and commenced the defamation proceedings.
Referring to the controversy, Porter said in his statement on Wednesday he believed he had faced “more of the harshness of modern politics” than most, but had “no regrets”.
“Perhaps the only certainty now is that there appears to be no limit to what some will say or allege or do to gain an advantage over a perceived enemy,” he said.
“This makes the harshness that can accompany the privilege of representing people, harder than ever before.”
He said he had made the decision not to re-contest the next election this week.
“Before each election I have always asked myself whether I could absolutely guarantee another three years of total commitment to the electorate because people deserve that commitment, free of any reservations,” Porter said.
“After a long time giving everything I could to the people of Pearce it’s now time to give more of what is left to those around me whose love has been unconditional.”
Porter’s announcement came amid reports health minister Greg Hunt was due to resign on Thursday.