Former Premier Colin Barnett expected to retire today

Former Premier Colin Barnett.
Former Premier Colin Barnett.

FORMER Premier Colin Barnett is reportedly set to retire from politics today after 27 years in Parliament – just nine months after his Government was defeated in the State Election campaign.

The ABC is reporting that Mr Barnett will announce his retirement on ABC Radio this morning.

Reacting to speculation of a resignation this morning, Cottesloe voters were divided about Barnett’s contribution to the State and their electorate.

“He should have gone a long time ago, because I feel he never acted for Cottesloe people,” resident Inge Benda said.

However, others were more praising of Mr Barnett’s contribution to the State.

“I love the new Perth Stadium and I think the infrastructure he put in place can only benefit the State in the long run,” Mt Claremont resident Lexie Trevenen said.

Back in September, in his first interview since the election, Mr Barnett said losing the election in March was “like falling off a cliff”.

“Obviously, I miss being Premier, and being important, and it takes a bit of getting over,” he said.

“It’s a bit like falling off a cliff, and I think that’s no different than people who are entertainers or sports stars, or whatever else.”

Mr Barnett has been the member for Cottesloe since 1990, and was Premier for more than eight years.

He said in September there was still no timetable for his departure and he was “not open to discussion” with his party about potential successor, or to find a candidate himself.

“No, I don’t (have a timetable), but in any case I’m not about to step down,” he said.

“There’s lots of speculation. I get asked every couple of weeks, but I’ve always said, and as Jeff Kennett, who is a good friend of mine, said, his advice to me was ‘whatever you do, don’t make any decisions for a while. Just sit back and let time go by’.

“And that’s what I will do.”

More to come.