Liberal MP Bruce Billson has indicated he may quit politics before the next election after he was demoted from the Cabinet in Malcolm Turnbull’s re-shuffle.
After 19 years in the federal parliament, Mr Billson was dumped from the small business portfolio – a move seen as surprising given he was liked by many in the sector.
Mr Billson told The Australian he didn’t believe he lost the post due to his performance, and that he would have a “long chat” to his family about his future at Christmas.
“Of course I was disappointed. I mean I had more work to do. My performance had been lauded,” he said.
“It was explained that it was nothing to do with my performance, that I was one of the better performers, but there was a need to make room for others. I understand that.”
Mr Billson indicated he didn’t subscribe to factional politics, but knew that it ultimately had a big roll in his downfall.
“Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never been engaged in factional politics,” he said.
“When changes of leadership take place, there’s certain machinations that bring about those changes … and there’s an expectation that there’s some improved opportunities for those that were part of the change.”
He indicated that when he was offered the cities portfolio, he told Mr Turnbull he thought that it was a demotion and therefore said he would consider leaving politics.
“I said to him … I can’t guarantee to you that I will re-contest the next election under those circumstances,” he said.
“The prospects of a demotion and a new tasking was something I didn’t think a reasonable proposition in light of all the circumstances.”