WA Opposition Leader Liza Harvey announces decision to step aside, citing Liberal Party election strategy - ABC News

 proxy.yoo.workers.dev  11/22/2020 02:34:22 

Liberal MP Liza Harvey says she is resigning her position as Western Australia's Opposition Leader, less than four months out from the state election.

  • Liza Harvey has resigned four months out from the WA election
  • She says it is an opportunity to reset the WA Liberals' election campaign
  • Zak Kirkup, Dean Nalder and David Honey are touted as potential replacements

Ms Harvey made the shock announcement on Sunday, sending a written statement to fellow Liberal MPs.

"I am standing aside to give the Liberal Party  with a new leadership team  the opportunity to reset our election strategy and give the public a real choice at the March election," Ms Harvey said in her statement.

Ms Harvey made reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it had "been extremely difficult for our message to resonate".

"I'm also standing aside to give our very fine candidates the opportunity to be elected as the new generation of members representing the Liberal Party," she said.

"This decision will give them clean air. They are energetic young men and women who will be strong, hard-working members for their communities."

A photo of Liza Harvey looking wistful at her resignation conference as party leader.
Liza Harvey says her decision will give her colleagues "clean air" ahead of the election.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)

In a brief press conference following the statement being sent out, Ms Harvey described Premier McGowan's administration as a "do nothing" Government.

"They had no achievements," she said.

"While they've done a good job in closing the borders, the difficult job was always going to be coming out of lockdown.

"It's very clear the Labor Government have no plan for this."

Ms Harvey would not take questions from reporters after making her announcement.

She will remain leader until a Liberal partyroom meeting is held on Wednesday to nominate her replacement.

Leader under pressure

Ms Harvey had faced intense leadership scrutiny amid polling that indicated the party was at risk of a heavy loss at the March 13 election.

She will recontest her seat of Scarborough at the election.

She said she hoped to be a senior member of a future Liberal government.

Health spokesman Zak Kirkup, Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder and Cottesloe MP David Honey are seen as the most likely successors to Ms Harvey.

Mr Nalder, who was a minister in the previous Liberal Government, has told the ABC he will nominate for the position.

In 2016, the Bateman MP unsuccessfully challenged then-premier Colin Barnett for the leadership, months before the Liberals suffered a heavy election loss.

Mr Kirkup has also confirmed he will nominate for the leadership.

Liberal member for Kalgoorlie, Kyran O'Donnell, said he was contacted by Mr Nalder today and he agreed he would support him becoming leader.

"I think he could do well for our state as the leader," he said.

Mr O'Donnell cautioned against promoting Mr Kirkup, who won his seat of Dawesville by only 343 votes at the last election.

"It would be devastating if the premier just bombarded Dawesville with everything & meanwhile Zak's in other parts of the state trying to help candidates win their election," he said.

A mid shot of WA Treasurer Dean Nalder wearing a blue suit and black tie talking to reporters outside State Parliament.
Former Barnett government minister Dean Nalder has confirmed he will nominate as WA Liberal leader.(ABC News: Benjamin Gubana)

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