Johnston retires to focus on family

Johnston retires to focus on family

Cannington MP Bill Johnston with Premier Roger Cook

Cannington MP Bill Johnston has resigned from State Cabinet and will not seek re-election next year.

But Mr Johnston, 61, who was Energy Minister, the Mines and Petroleum Minister and Minister for Hydrogen Industry, said he would serve out the rest of his term avoiding the need for a by-election.

He was previously Minister for Commerce, Electoral Affairs and Asian Engagement but was stripped of the problem-plagued Corrective Services portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle in June following criticism over his management of the State’s youth detention system.

Mr Johnston has served the Labor Party for more than 27 years, and said that was long enough.

“I’ve been very proud to work for the Cannington community over the last 15 years and I look forward to serving them until the next election,” he said.

“The Cannington community have always had my first loyalty as their representative in parliament and it’s a tremendous privilege to represent this vibrant community.”

He said his achievements in Cannington included upgrades to schools, improved roads, the Metronet level crossing removal program and investments in the local environment.

Mr Johnston joined the ALP at the age of 20, more than 40 years ago.

“I joined Labor because I know only Labor can make a difference for working people,” he said.

“To be able to make a difference for the community as a minister is very special.

“I’ve been proud to help solve problems and improve the State as part of the WA Labor Cabinet.”

He paid tribute to his wife Kate Doust and his three children.

“My kids have never appeared in any of my election material because Kate and I always took the view that we are the politicians and not our children,” he said.

“I know they’ve missed out on a lot because of my career and I apologise to them for that.”

Mr Johnston said the government had enough talented MPs, including some who could replace him and “no-one will notice that I’ve left”.

UPDATE: Victoria Park MP Hannah Beazley will replace Mr Johnston in the cabinet, taking on the portfolios of local government and youth. 

Mr Johnston’s portfolios were redistributed in a cabinet shuffle today.