Federal Labor Member for Perth Tim Hammond has announced he is resigning from Parliament, triggering a by-election in one of Western Australia’s highest-profile seats, saying he cannot be a federal politician and a good father to his three children under six.
- Tim Hammond says he is leaving federal politics to spend more time at home
- Voters in the seat of Perth will now face a by-election before the next federal poll
- It is believed WA Labor state secretary Patrick Gorman could be a candidate
Mr Hammond, 43, said the toll the job was taking on his family was too great.
“I guess I’d reached the point, after more soul-searching than I can describe this morning, that it just wasn’t working,” he said.
“It wasn’t working in relation to how present I needed to be at home, as a dad to three wonderful little children.
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“I have a six-year-old girl, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl and now a six-month old boy. The six-month-old was an unexpected but wonderful blessing that wasn’t on the cards when I was elected two years ago.
“My wife and I had tried everything under the sun to make this work in a way that I felt it wasn’t compromising my ability just to be the best dad that I could be.
“The reality is that I thought I had an appreciation of how to manage my duties as a federal Member of Parliament in a way that did not have such an impact on my family. I got that wrong.
“I just did not anticipate the profound effect my absence would have on all of us.”
Speaking during an at-times emotional interview, Mr Hammond said the Labor Party had been “fantastic” to him and many people would be surprised at his decision because he had sought to be an MP for many years.
By-election to test Labor’s popularity in WA
Mr Hammond confirmed that his resignation would take effect in the near future, meaning the voters of Perth would face a by-election before the next federal poll scheduled for 2019.
“There are, of course, obligations I need to discharge to my electorate, to my staff and to the people of Perth. I expect this will take a relatively short period of time, enabling me to resign in the very near future,” he said in a statement.
“I regret — so very much — that a by-election will be an inconvenience for my local community.
“However I know Labor will present a strong candidate to continue representing Perth — fighting for good jobs, better schools and hospitals, and a fair share for WA.
“I wish Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and their…