No More Liberal MPs Will Quit Before Election, Minister Pledges
Despite a string of resignations, minister Dan Tehan doesn't expect any more of his colleagues to hand in their notice ahead of the federal election.
In the space of a week, three government ministers announced they would step down at the next election, but Tehan said such decisions were expected after the summer break.
"All the members of parliament have thought about what their prospects and career options will be going forward," he told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
"My expectation is that everyone who hasn't announced their retirement will now be going forward to the next election."
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion on Saturday became the latest to reveal he would not contest the next election, believing it's simply time for him to go after being in parliament since 2001.
That came after Human Services Minister Michael Keenan said on Friday he wouldn't be running again, to spend more time with his wife and four children.
Industrial Affairs Minister Kelly O'Dwyer also announced her retirement plans for family reasons the week before.
Tehan has rejected Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's claims that the resignations mean the government is "running out of puff".
Shorten says he wishes the trio well, but their exits show the government is "barely limping to the end of its term".
"The only person who will be running out of puff will be Bill Shorten, because all his policies are puff, his approach is just full of wind," Tehan said.
"When it comes to the government we have a track record which we can stand on."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the frontbenchers' reasons for bowing out of politics should be taken at face value, rejecting suggestions they could be inspired by perceptions the government is a "sinking ship".
"I don't think that's a very kind way to put it and I don't think that really does respect to the decisions that they've made," the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.
"Both of these cases - because this is how it has been shared with me by both of these men - are about their own personal circumstances.
"We've had members retiring and not standing at the next election from both sides of politics and it means nothing more than that."
A series of senators and and MPs from both sides have indeed confirmed they won't be running again, including Labor frontbenchers Kate Ellis and Jenny Macklin.
Featured Image: AAP.