Ian Macfarlane hints at retirement from politics
LONG-SERVING Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane has indicated he is considering resigning from politics.
The former Industry and Science Minister was dumped by new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull when he replaced former PM Tony Abbott in September.
Mr Macfarlane had been hoping to retain his ministry but was replaced by Member for Sturt Christopher Pyne and was moved to the backbench.
"My not being a minister anymore came as quite a surprise to me and whilst I accept Malcolm's decision I now need to reappraise what I can do for this region and what the best avenue for that is," Mr Macfarlane said.
One of Mr Macfarlane's political virtues was his access to the Prime Minister.
He had promised to deliver the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project before the last election and helped to deliver that this year.
"I can ring the Prime Minister any time I like, we exchange texts regularly," he said.
"It's just having that influence, and I think I still have more influence than most backbenchers."
But he could be about to call it a day on his political career.
"I'm certainly not ready to retire, although... tempting as the golf course is.
"But I do want to make sure that I'm filling my days and getting things done.
"So that's a decision I want to make with my family over Christmas."
Mr Macfarlane was elected as a member of the Australian House of Representatives in October 1998.
The electorate of Groom covers an area of 5594 sq km and is located on the Darling Downs region of south-east Queensland.
The major population centre is Toowoomba and other towns in the division include Oakey and Pittsworth.