Ian MacFarlane Announces He Will Retire From Politics At Next Election

15/02/2016 8:38 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Fairfax: Alex Ellinghausen

Liberal backbencher Ian Macfarlane has announced he will be retiring from politics at the next election, following a string of resignations in the coalition.

In a statement released on Monday, the Queensland MP said "the time is right to pass the baton" after 18 years holding the seat of Groom, nine of them as a cabinet minister.

“I don’t want to be a passenger in politics if I’m not involved in cabinet,” Macfarlane told ABC radio.

“There comes a time when you’ve given all you’ve got - when you’ve become a passenger it’s time to get off and let someone else drive ... sitting on the backbench wasn’t an option for me.”

The Liberal backbencher was Industry Minister in the Abbott government and before that, Small Business and Tourism Minister in the Howard government -- but was dumped from the frontbench when Turnbull took the Prime Ministership.

After losing his cabinet position, Macfarlane tried to move to the Nationals Party in an attempted side-step with the hope of returning to the frontbench. The move was publicly blocked by the Queensland LNP.

Macfarlane's resignation announcement comes after coalition members Andrew Robb, Warren Truss and Philip Ruddock announced they will retire at the next election.

On Sunday, Malcolm Turnbull announced a cabinet reshuffle which saw Queensland MP Steve Ciobo appointed to Trade Minister, Nationals' Deputy Leader Fiona Nash appointed to Regional Development Minister and Victorian MP Darren Chester appointed to Minister for Infrastructure.

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