Veteran Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson steps down from politics

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Michael Ronaldson
Veteran Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson Michael Ronaldson/

Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson announced on Friday that he is resigning from politics after being dumped from the coalition frontbench more than three months ago. Ronaldson has urged fellow Liberals to move on and give Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a “clear run.”

"Bitterness only further embitters the person who is feeling it," he told Sky News. "I've always adopted the attitude that you just get on with life. These leadership changes are always dramatic for parties, they are dramatic for the individuals concerned. But we're all big boys and girls and we've got to learn to move on."

Ronaldson is the 12th MP to announce retirement before the 2016 elections and four names are already contemplated for the seat that would be left vacant by his exit. Indigenous advocate Sean Armistead, Institute of Public Affairs deputy director James Paterson, Jane Hume and Freedom Commissioner Tim Wilson are being considered to take his place.

Ronaldson entered politics in 1990 after he won the seat of Ballarat, in regional Victoria. He had previously decided to quit politics back in 2001 after serving in the lower house in junior portfolios but he made a comeback in 2004 as a senator. He has also served as a special minister of state and minister of veteran affairs under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

According to Turnbull, Ronaldson was a "superb parliamentarian and is respected for his conviction, his integrity, his passion and his professionalism. With his wealth of experience, I'm sure his skills will be highly sought after."

"On behalf of the government and the Liberal Party, I thank Michael and his family, especially his wife Cate, for his many years of service to Australia. Michael and Cate will now have more time to enjoy being grandparents and Lucy and I wish them every happiness," he added.

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