National Party stalwart Max Trenorden is considering running as an independent in next year’s state election after being dumped by the party ahead of pre-selection for the Agricultural Region, which includes the Legislative Assembly electorate of Wagin.
Mr Trenorden, 63, a political veteran of 26 years, said while he expected his career was coming to an end he was disappointed with the way he was treated by the party.
“My concern is I’ve been thrown out with the rubbish,” he told 6PR radio.
“I would’ve thought if I had the support of my leader he would have backed me, but that didn’t happen, and I would’ve thought if I didn’t have his support he would have told me, but that didn’t happen.”
He said he may contest the Central Wheatbelt seat as an independent in order to exit politics on his own terms.
“I got approached to run in the Central Wheatbelt and it’s something that I will consider… there’s a big difference between being expelled by your party as to losing an election,” he said.
“I’d much prefer to go out there and put my name on the line, and if my constituency, who have voted for me for seven elections in a row, if they vote me out I’d be much happier about that.”
The former leader, who was replaced by Brendon Grylls in 2005, said a number of MPs had told the party room he was inappropriate for the party.
He said a generation of “young turks” were responsible for throwing him out.
“There’s a whole list of brand new buzzing members of the National Party that only have their own futures in mind and I was apparently an anchor for their cause,” he said.
The Agricultural Region includes the Legislative Assembly electorates of Central Wheatbelt, Geraldton, Moore and Wagin.
Nationals state president Colin Holt said Mr Trenorden had served the party and the state with vigour and a commitment to regional WA during his 26 years as an MP.
“He is a passionate advocate for regional WA and we thank him for his extensive and valuable service to the party and the region,” Mr Holt said in a statement yesterday.
Gingin resident and former chief of staff to federal MP Tony Crook, Martin Aldridge, and current member of the Legislative Council Philip Gardiner will lead the ticket in the Agricultural Region.
Separately, WA Premier Colin Barnett has defended the state Liberal party’s decision to endorse Simon Morgan as a candidate for the seat of Butler in the March election.
Mr Morgan was branded a traitor by the Victorian Liberal party and sacked in 2008 after expletive-laden blogs and emails were uncovered on his work computer that undermined fellow party members.