NSW Treasurer Matt Kean Exits Politics After 13 Years

‘I intend on continuing to try and make an impact in the energy industry in the private sector.’
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean Exits Politics After 13 Years
Matt Kean speaks during a press conference in Randwick in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 18, 2021. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

New South Wales (NSW) Liberal MP Matt Kean announced his resignation from politics after 13 years at a press conference on June 18, stating that he is pursuing a career in the energy sector.

Mr. Kean was the former NSW energy minister, deputy Liberal leader, and treasurer until the Coalition’s defeat in 2023.

He was also the member for the northwestern Sydney electorate of Hornsby since 2011 and has been Shadow Minister for Health since 2023.

The veteran politician said he had been “thinking about this for some time” and finalised his decision over the weekend.

“After 13 years as the member for Hornsby, I'll be retiring from parliament,” Mr. Kean told reporters, hours after NSW Labor Treasurer Daniel Mookhey delivered his second state budget.

“This is the last sitting week before the winter break and I don’t intend on coming back to the parliament in the August sittings.”

Mr. Kean ruled out contesting for federal parliament in the next election, saying that while he did not have a job confirmed yet, he is looking forward to the opportunity to make an impact in the private sector.

A Career Outside The Public Sector

The former NSW energy minister said he is “passionate” about energy and the transition to renewable energy.

“I feel I made significant changes or positive changes in the energy policy in my time as the minister for energy,” he said. “So I intend on continuing to try and make an impact in the energy industry in the private sector.”

The former NSW Energy Minister said his job in parliament has put a strain on his family.

“We’ve been talking about public life, we’ve been talking about [the] strain that places on our family and we’ve come to a conclusion recently that I want to pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

Mr. Kean was joined by his partner Wendy Paterson and his four-year-old son Tom.

Several Liberal MPs attended the press conference, including Opposition Leader Mark Speakman, Felicity Wilson, Eleni Petinos, and NSW Liberal state director Richard Shields.

Mr. Kean’s departure will lead to a by-election in his Hornsby seat.

“A by-election isn’t a new thing in public life. This won’t be the first by-election, and it certainly won’t be the last by-election, that’s the NSW political process,” he noted.

This announcement comes after Mr. Kean quit his role as ambassador of an environmental charity, the Coalition for Conservation, saying it has “increasingly focussed on nuclear power in the electricity system.”

In March, former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also resigned as leader of the NSW Liberal Party following the party’s defeat during the state election.

“As leader of the parliamentary Liberal party, I take full responsibility for the loss this evening,” he said.

“It is very clear we need a fresh start. We need a fresh start for the Liberal party.”

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected].
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