Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson has announced he will retire from politics.
The former Special Minister for State said he would step down as a Victorian Senator as soon as the party had chosen a replacement.
Mr Ronaldson’s announcement comes after a similar statement by former Speaker Anna Burke, who on Wednesday said she would retire at the next federal election.
The Senator also joined the growing number of former Abbott government ministers to retire from politics, such as Bruce Billson and former treasurer Joe Hockey.
In a statement, he said the decision had not been an easy one after 22 years in politics.
“Politics, in various forms, has been such an important part of my life for the last three decades,” Mr Ronaldson said.
“However, a former colleague once told me that you know when it is time to go; that time has now come.
“My decision will allow the party to continue the renewal process and will allow me to pursue opportunities elsewhere.”
Today I announce my intention to retire from the Senate. https://t.co/Bo4yMvJZTi
— Michael Ronaldson (@SenRonno) December 18, 2015
Mr Ronaldson previously served as the member for Ballarat for almost 12 years, as well as acting as minister for veterans’ affairs and minister assisting the prime minister for the Centenary of Anzac.
He thanked former Prime Minister Tony Abbott for the opportunity to serve on his front bench, while noting his friendship with the current leader.
“I have advised the Prime Minister accordingly and my close friendship with Malcolm and Lucy remains,” he said.
“I leave with no regrets and comfortable in the knowledge that I gave it my all.”