Minister resigns stating lack of confidence

Minister resigns stating lack of confidence

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Tony Simpson and Colin Barnett
Happier times - Member for Darling Range and now former Local Government Minister Tony Simpson with Premier Colin Barnett at the opening of the Araluen spring festival late last month. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

Former Local Government Minister and Member for Darling Range, Tony Simpson dramatically resigned from state cabinet today.
Mr Simpson said in a statement that he no longer has confidence in the direction and leadership offered by Premier Colin Barnett.
Mr Simpson goes on to state that he hopes his resignation will bring the Liberal Party’s woes to a head so they can be dealt with.
“I have taken this step reluctantly and with a heavy heart, but have done so because I no longer have confidence in the direction and leadership being offered by the Premier and hence cannot say that he has my full support,” Mr Simpson said.
Mr Simpson’s statement comes after months of speculation of a leadership spill, division within the party and private polls issued by business leaders about the Premier’s leadership of the party.
Mr Simpson stated quite clearly that he hoped his dramatic move would bring about a resolution to the recent leadership rumblings.
“I hope the issue of leadership within the Parliamentary Liberal Party will come to a head.
“In any case, relinquishing my Ministerial duties will give me more time to devote to my electorate and the task of retaining the seat of Darling Range.
“Our government won two elections based on good policies and effective leadership, but has now lost its way and offers neither of those things. Unless we make changes now, winning a third election seems very unlikely.,” he said.
Premier Colin Barnett issued a brief statement thanking the former Minister for his services but did not touch on Mr Simpson’s comments about leadership concerns.
“He has been a good Minister and is a good local member,” Premier Barnett said.
“I understand he wants to focus on winning his seat at the next election and I wish him well.
“While I am sorry to see Tony leave Cabinet, it now presents an opportunity for someone else to become a Minister.”
The Examiner will have further details about Mr Simpson’s resignation from cabinet in the paper this week.