Months before the WA election and days after announcing his retirement from politics, Dean Nalder has made another shock decision.
Dean Nalder has quit as the WA Liberal shadow treasurer, sending the party into disarray just months from the state election.
After Liza Harvey stepped down as leader last month, the former ANZ executive threw his hat in the ring but dropped out of the race shortly before the party meeting, admitting he did not have the support to win the ballot.
It wasn’t the first time Mr Nalder tried to take the top job: he failed to topple then-premier Colin Barnett in a 2016 leadership spill.
Earlier this week, Mr Nalder said he would not recontest his blue-ribbon seat of Bateman at the March poll, citing family reasons.
Then on Saturday, he confirmed he had also quit as opposition treasury spokesman – despite new party leader Zac Kirkup asking him to stay on until the election.
He said sticking around would not be doing the right thing by the Liberals.
“They need someone to take it forward,” Mr Nalder told NCA NewsWire.
“I just want to exit gracefully. I’ve done my time.”
The 54-year-old said he and his family agreed now was the time to go and denied he was frustrated by factional divisions, saying every party has them.
But he conceded fellow former Barnett government minister Peter Collier – backed by ex-federal finance minister Mathias Cormann – and conservative powerbroker Nick Goiran had a “vice-like grip”.
“I had to stay true to who I was – I wasn’t going to bow and scrape to anyone,” Mr Nalder said.
He declined to comment on whether he supported Mr Kirkup, a first-term MP who at age 33 is the youngest leader of the WA Liberal Party.
“I just wish everyone well.”
Mr Nalder said he could return to the corporate world and was still young enough for “the right executive role”.
“I haven’t lined anything up at this point,” he said.
Mr Nalder said he didn’t rule out starting up his own business.
While leaving politics was in some way daunting, it was refreshing in other ways, he said.
Sean L’Estrange, David Honey and Peter Katsambanis are considered contenders for the portfolio.
Premier Mark McGowan recently lampooned the turmoil, saying the Liberal Party was “blowing itself up and becoming a train wreck”.
They were trounced at the 2017 election and hold just 13 out of 59 lower house seats.