Nationals MP and former television weatherman Grant Woodhams will step down as Legislative Assembly Speaker revealing yesterday he would retire at the next election after deciding his family was more important than politics.
The 59-year-old member for Moore said he had decided not to seek pre-selection and believed it was time for a new Nationals candidate to be given the opportunity to run for the seat, which covers more than 71,000 sqkm and includes Toodyay, Mullewa and Jurien Bay.
Mr Woodhams was elected to Parliament in 2005 after winning the seat of Greenough, which was combined with the seat of Moore in 2008 as a result of the one-vote, one-value changes.
The Nationals hold the seat by a massive margin of 22 per cent.
Mr Woodhams revealed family reasons were behind the difficult decision to bow out of State politics and said he was looking forward to spending more time with wife Gabrielle, daughter Phoebe and his parents.
"I have a great family, who have supported me in everything I have done (and) it's about time I returned the favour, so this decision is also about them," he said.
"Really there were some other priorities in life that I was ignoring or not acknowledging and I thought the best way to do this is to retire from Parliament while I'm still enjoying it."
Mr Woodhams, who worked for the ABC before entering State politics, said he had thoroughly enjoyed his political career and representing his electorate.
"It's a phenomenal privilege to be a member of Parliament," he said.
In his 3½ years as Speaker, Mr Woodhams has ejected just three MPs from Parliament - Victoria Park MP Ben Wyatt, Cannington MP Bill Johnston and Pilbara MP Tom Stephens.
"I think I probably have a reputation for being somewhat tolerant and whether that's a good reputation to have as the Speaker, I'm not sure and I don't make any judgment about that," he said.
"It's a most peculiar role and I didn't really understand just how much it involved until I was elected to the job but when you're a member of Parliament, I don't necessarily think that you notice a lot of what the Speaker does unless you're directly impacted by it."
Mr Woodhams joins a growing list of high-profile MPs retiring at next year's State election, including Labor veterans Eric Ripper, John Kobelke and Tom Stephens, Liberal stalwart Norman Moore and Independent Liz Constable whose political career has spanned two decades.
Police Minister Rob Johnson yesterday hosed down speculation about whether he was eyeing off the Speaker's job when Mr Woodhams retires.
"I don't have my eyes on anything but winning the next election . . . if my party wins the next election I'm happy to serve in any way that the premier and the Lib party would like me to do," he said.