Media reports say Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss is set to retire from politics before the next federal election.
While the official announcement is expected on Thursday, multiple news reports published on Wednesday afternoon indicate Truss will step down in March and not contest the next election.
Truss, as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, has been the responsible minister for aviation-related matters and ordered an independent review of Australia’s aviation regulatory system in 2013.
The Aviation Safety Regulatory Review made 37 recommendations, of which 32 were accepted in full by the government.
Elsewhere, Truss also directed the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to take another look at the Pel-Air Westwind corporate jet ditching off the coast of Norfolk Island in 2009, after the ATSB’s original report was strongly criticised in an independent review conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
And the veteran politician – Truss was first elected to parliament in 1990 and has been leader of the National Party of Australia 2007 – has also been the responsible minister that settled on Badgerys Creek as the site for a second Sydney airport.
A second senior government minister – Andrew Robb the Minister for Trade – is also expected to step down before the election.
Truss and Robb have forged new bilateral services agreements with the likes of Canada, Chile, China, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, expanding available capacity available for both Australian and foreign carriers.
Truss has also led the Australian government delegation on the recently concluded negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement between 12 countries.