WA Nationals MP Tony Crook will quit politics after one term in Federal Parliament, opening up the prized rural seat of O'Connor for the Liberals.
In a shock decision, Mr Crook told The West Australian he would not stand again. He said he was tired of constant travel to Canberra and wanted to spend more time with his family.
"I find that when you get to the point on Sunday morning when I have to fly back to Canberra and I don't want to get on the plane, well that's starting to tell you something," the father of three daughters said. "I value my family too much."
Mr Crook, 53, stunned pundits in 2010 when he wrested O'Connor from veteran Liberal Wilson Tuckey. The Kalgoorlie farmer and former Royal Flying Doctor Service head campaigned to expand WA's Royalties for Regions policy nationally.
Though he promised to sit as a crossbencher, he eventually joined the Federal Nationals party room, though not the coalition party room.
In the hung Parliament, Mr Crook initially pledged to give an Abbott government support in supply and confidence motions but after Julia Gillard found the numbers to hold power, his vote proved vital on several key measures.
He effectively killed off the so-called Malaysian Solution people-swap plan because of fears about the treatment of unaccompanied children.
Mr Crook also ignited tensions inside the WA Liberal Party when he backed a Government Bill to deregulate the wheat industry and gave crucial support to pass the Federal flood levy in 2011.
Mr Crook said the grinding nature of the hung Parliament and disillusionment when politics came ahead of policy had roles in his decision to go.
He said he was under no pressure from colleagues to stay and it is unclear who the WA Nationals will field for the seat.
He said it had been an honour to serve regional WA and he hoped his successor would stand up for the State over party political interests.
The Liberal Party has endorsed Katanning farmer Rick Wilson to stand in O'Connor.