Monday, January 16, 2006

Farewell to Gallop

In what is a very sad, but very brave move, WA Premier Geoff Gallop today announced his resignation from State Parliament after being diagnosed with depression.

I say brave because he could have chosen to withdraw from public office for "family reasons" or some other vague notion, but instead he has met the problem head on and in a very public way.

In doing so he will help thousands of other people out there who suffer with this same condition to recognise their illness and take steps to treat it, before it's too late.

I wish him all the best.

Premier's statement:

It is my difficult duty to inform you today that I am currently being treated for depression.

Living with depression is a very debilitating experience, which affects different people in different ways. It has certainly affected many aspects of my life. So much so, that I sought expert help last week.

My doctors advised me that with treatment, time and rest this illness is very curable. However, I cannot be certain how long I will need. So in the interests of my health and my family I have decided to rethink my career.

My commitment to politics has always been 100 per cent plus. I now need that time to restore my health and well-being. Therefore I am announcing today my intention to resign as Premier of Western Australia and Member for Victoria Park in the State Parliament.

It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to serve this State and witness the wonderful progress that is being made. I would like to thank the WA public for bestowing on me the immense responsibility and thrill of leading this great State for just under five years; and my colleagues for giving me the honour of leading the WA Labor Party for the best part of 10 years.

I would particularly like to thank the residents of Victoria Park for the support they have given me for nearly 20 years.

In fact, what has made this announcement all the more difficult today is that I love being Premier, I love the work, I love the State and I love its people. In order to do the job, you need the support of your staff, the Cabinet and your Parliamentary colleagues. They have all been magnificent and I will always cherish the times I have spent with them working on ideas for a better future.

Even though change of the sort I announce today will bring its challenges and will be disruptive in the very short term, I am confident that the Government will continue its excellent work.The State Parliamentary Labor Party at its earliest possible convenience will decide my successor. In the meantime, Eric Ripper has kindly cancelled his scheduled leave to continue to act as Premier.

I hope you will appreciate the pressure my current condition has placed on my family, who have been a tower of strength and a source of great support. I now need the space required to start the process of full recovery and for this reason I will not be taking questions nor doing any further media interviews.

I thank you for your co-operation and I wish you all well for the future.


dave said...

i've been a bit of a dr geoff fan for a long time now. he seems to be one of the few politicians with real sincerity and honesty. he is someone i really do trust. i met him over here in london on anzac day '04 at a service at westminster abbey. he noticed my freo dockers shirt and stopped for a chat. the only real criticism i have of him is that he has awful taste in footy teams.. i mean, really, the west coast wankers???

Anonymous said...

Wait until the real reason emerges. perhaps he was VERY good friends with Tony Blair!

Cookster said...

Dave, I agree wholeheartedly... but just think how truly depressed he might have become if he'd followed our beloved Dockers!

However, on that note, 2006 IS OUR YEAR! Peaky's going to tear up the midfield and I actually had a dream last night where I watched Pav mark just outside 50 and slot a magnificent goal - is that an omen or what!