One of the Federal Government’s most senior ministers has announced he will be retiring from politics at the end of the year.
Finance Minister Matthias Cormann revealed the shock news in a statement on Sunday morning, confirming he has advised the Prime Minister of his decision.
“Having decided not to recontest the next election, I can confirm that I have advised the prime minister that the end of this year would be an appropriate time for an orderly transition in my portfolio,” Mr Cormann said in a statement.
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“Before handing over the baton, there is another six months or so of hard work to be done in this job, to help manage a responsible transition out of this coronavirus induced crisis and to help finalise and set in train our five-year plan to maximise the strength of our economic and jobs recovery.”
Mr Cormann said in the meantime, he will continue to work with Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on the federal budget due to be handed down in October.
“So between now and the end of the year I will be working with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and all of my colleagues on finalising our July Economic Statement, our Budget in October and our half-yearly Budget update in December,” he said.
“Working with our team in the Senate, we will seek to secure the passage of all of our important reform legislation through the Parliament.”
.@MathiasCormann has been a tower of strength for the Coalition. As Aust’s longest serving Finance Minister, he’s strengthened our economy, preparing it for the challenges we now face. I look forward to working with him prior to his departure from Parliament in the months ahead. pic.twitter.com/wUuIIcoPP8
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) July 4, 2020
Senator Cormann said “serving as a Senator for Western Australia and as the Australian Minister for Finance continues to be one of the greatest privileges of my life”.
“Having the opportunity to help shape the future direction of our country as part of a great team working to make our country even stronger, more prosperous and more resilient is a great honour.
“I love this job. Every single day I am giving it my all. I can honestly say that I have left nothing on the field.”
Mr Cormann, who has been Australia’s finance minister since 2013, finished by praising the Prime Minister and his Government.
“Making this decision has been made easier by the knowledge that the government of our country is in very good hands,” he said.
“Our Prime Minister leads a team that is stronger, more focused and more united than ever.”
It’s understood Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has been flagged as a potential replacement.