A message to the people of my electorate
In 2013, you entrusted me to represent you in our nation’s Parliament. Between 2008 and 2013 I also had the honour of serving in the Parliament of Western Australia and before that I started in public service as a Crown Prosecutor at the Western Australian Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 2002.
Since joining the DPP 20 years ago, with a few short breaks, I have spent the best part of the last 20 years in public service. This week however, I made the decision that I will not recontest the seat of Pearce at the next Federal Election and I have informed the Prime Minister of that decision.
It was at the DPP 20 years ago that I learned the great value in public service, of committing yourself to work that you believe in and that you believe is important.
Some people spend long political careers working incredibly hard but nevertheless remaining distant from the great responsibility and honour of being in a ministry or representing their Nation in its Cabinet. In the years since 2008 I have been deeply fortunate to spend 11 years in ministries and only a few months in opposition. It has been a remarkable privilege to have been a State Attorney General and State Treasurer in Western Australia and to have been the Commonwealth Minister for Social Services, Industry, Science and Technology and serve as Commonwealth Attorney General and Industrial Relations Minister and Leader of the House of Representatives.
Looking back at my time as a Minister the trust that was placed in me by Premier Colin Barnett and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, meant that for much of my time in Cabinet I was entrusted with multiple senior portfolios at once. That was a challenge that I always gave everything to and when working for the Australian public in these roles I never left anything in the tank.
When you are an obsessive compulsive type and entrusted with work that you believe in and that you believe is deeply important, the by-product becomes that people in your life that deserve more from you, especially your family, get much less than they deserve. My little boy was born one day before I first became a Commonwealth Minister. He and his little sister have never known anything but their father’s regular absence and so the next part of my working life will be anchored around being close to them and being there for them.
There are few, if any, constants left in modern politics. Perhaps the only certainty now is that there appears to be no limit to what some will say or allege or do to gain an advantage over a perceived enemy. This makes the harshness that can accompany the privilege of representing people, harder than ever before. But even though I have experienced perhaps more of the harshness of modern politics than most, there are no regrets.
It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with great teams of men and women to drive change and to govern during remarkable times, including the most demanding time for Government since WWII. I feel that not a moment of the last 14 years was wasted and I am thankful for the opportunity and friendship provided by my Parliamentary colleagues and the men and women of the Liberal Party. I am forever grateful for the support of my family, friends and the dedication of staff (some who started with me 20 years ago).
Ultimately, it has always started and finished with the people of my electorate. I started with the promise to fix the GST for the people of my electorate and while it took years I was part of the small group in Federal Cabinet that made it happen for WA. Since 2013 I have been dedicated to securing critical funding for projects that had been long neglected and would improve the lives of people in our local community. This included hundreds of millions of dollars to extend and widen the Mitchell Freeway, over a billion dollars to fund the Yanchep and Ellenbrook rail lines, completion of the $1 billion Northlink project (WA’s biggest ever road project), the Beverley Cornerstone project, the Northam Aquatic Centre and the Toodyay Sport and Recreation Precinct just to name a few.
Before each election I have always asked myself whether I could absolutely guarantee another three years of total commitment to the electorate because people deserve that commitment, free of any reservations. After a long time giving everything I could to the people of Pearce it’s now time to give more of what is left to those around me whose love has been unconditional. The Federal Liberal Party have done great things for the electorate of Pearce and I know a new Liberal candidate can continue the trusted record of serving the needs of the electorate under a re-elected Coalition Government.
The Hon Christian Porter MP
Federal Member for Pearce
1 December 2021