Liberal Party seeking replacement after Stirling MHR resigns

Stirling MHR Michael Keenan with his wife Georgina and son.
Stirling MHR Michael Keenan with his wife Georgina and son.

NOMINATIONS are open for the Federal seat of Stirling after incumbent Michael Keenan announced his resignation.

The Human Services Minister said he would not contest the coming Federal election because he wanted to spend more time with his wife and four young children.

“I have been doing the job for 15 years and during that time my life has changed very significantly,” he said.

“It has become very hard to raise four boys under the age of seven while I am doing a very intense job and while I am really never present as a father.

“So I have made the decision that I am going to prioritise my family.”

Mr Keenan said he was the longest serving Stirling MHR and found it a difficult decision to step away because he loved the job and working on behalf of constituents.

He was first elected in 2004, replacing Labor’s Jann McFarlane, and served as Minister for six years under three Prime Ministers.

Labor last year introduced Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia chief operating officer Melita Markey as its candidate for Stirling, which is held by the Liberal Party by a six per cent margin.

Nominations for preselection in the Stirling seat opened tonight and despite believing it would be a “tough election”, Mr Keenan was confident his replacement could be elected.

“I will work very hard to make sure the candidate is elected and I am very, very confident that we can retain this seat,” he said.

He would not be drawn on names but said there were a “couple of very good women” he hoped would nominate.