Australia’s longest-serving finance minister will leave politics at the end of the year, and says that he has “left nothing on the field”.
Mr Cormann was elected in 2007 and has been in Parliament for 13 years. He has held the finance portfolio as a member of the opposition and in government, and has served as acting prime minister on several occasions.
“Before handing over the baton, there is another six months or so of hard work to be done in this job, to help manage a responsible transition out of this coronavirus-induced crisis and to help finalise and set in train our five-year plan to maximise the strength of our economic and jobs recover,” Mr Cormann said in a statement.
“We will also need to make the many necessary decisions to re-embark on the important journey of budget repair.”
“So, between now and the end of the year, I will be working with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and all of my colleagues on finalising our July Economic Statement, our budget in October and our half-yearly budget update in December.”
Mr Cormann said that he would not change his mind, and that if he were to hold onto the portfolio beyond the end of this year, rather than managing an orderly transition, he would feel “honour bound” to recontest the next election – something he had already informed the Prime Minister that he did not intend to do.
“I have now spent 13 years in the Parliament giving it my everything,” Mr Cormann told reporters in Perth. “I have had the privilege of serving for seven years in the cabinet. Five years as part of the leadership group. I am Leader of the Government in the Senate. I have given politics absolutely everything that I had. After this, I can absolutely give you a 100 per cent guarantee that I will not run for state or federal politics in any shape or form.”