Ian Macfarlane, the LNP member for Groom in Queensland and former minister in the Abbott and Howard governments, is to retire from parliament at the election due this year.
Macfarlane has been the member for Groom since 1998. He was Minister for Small Business and then Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources in the Howard government, from 2001 until its defeat in 2007.
Macfarlane was again Minister for Industry and then Minister for Industry and Science in the Abbott government from 2013, until Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott last September. Macfarlane agreed to step down from the ministry to allow Turnbull to promote new blood.
An unsuccessful attempt to switch allegiance from the Liberal wing of the Liberal National Party to the Nationals wing ensured that a return to the ministry was unlikely.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid tribute to Macfarlane, describing him as “one of my closest friends in politics”. (See statement below.)
Macfarlane’s retirement is the seventh from the coalition. The others are:
- Bruce Scott (Maranoa – Qld)
- Andrew Southcott (Boothby – SA)
- Bruce Billson (Dunkley – Vic)
- Philip Ruddock (Berowra – NSW)
- Warren Truss (Wide Bay – NSW)
- Andrew Robb (Goldstein – Vic)
There are seven ALP members of the House who have opted to retire, as have two senators. They are:
- Laurie Ferguson (Werriwa – NSW)
- Alan Griffin (Bruce – Vic)
- Senator Joe Ludwig (Qld)
- Senator Jan McLucas (Qld)
- Bernie Ripoll (Oxley – Qld)
- Kelvin Thomson (Wills – Vic)
- Anna Burke (Chisholm – Vic)
- Melissa Parke (Fremantle – WA)
- Alannah MacTiernan (Perth – WA)
Media statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The Honourable Ian Macfarlane MP
Ian Macfarlane always has his sleeves rolled up. This is his personal signature and also a metaphor for how he has gone about his work.
Ian has served more than three decades in public life including 18 years in Parliament and nearly 14 years in Cabinet or shadow Cabinet.
His work in the Howard Government as Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources helped Australia make the most of the greatest resources boom in our history.
He led major reforms in the national electricity and gas markets, which will help us soon become the largest LNG exporter in the world.
Ian’s hard working, practical and problem-solving approach has earned him respect across the resources sector.
There are few if any Australians who better understand the public policy realms of industry, resources and science.
And his contribution cannot only be measured on the national level. As a strong and persuasive local member Ian has made his mark improving the day to day lives of his constituents forcefully arguing and securing funding for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and improvements to the Warrego Highway.
Ian said in his Maiden speech that it was his ambition to turn Australia’s future challenges into opportunities, and this is exactly what he has done.
Ian has been and remains one of my closest friends in politics. His retirement from Parliament is the end of an era but I have no doubt he will go from strength to strength in a new stage of his career and continue to make a formidable contribution to our nation.