AFTER 26 years as a member of State Parliament, member for the Agricultural Region Max Trenorden was unceremoniously dumped at the weekend’s National Party preselections.
The party issued a disingenuous media release saying Mr Trenorden had withdrawn his nomination but this occurred only after Mr Trenorden had lost the ballots for the first two positions on the party’s Legislative Council ticket for the Agricultural Region.
These positions were taken by the party’s former State director and chief of staff to the Federal Nationals MP tony Crook and the sitting MLC Philip Gardiner.
“I was not in the room at the time of the voting but I understand that all the speeches were that I was bad for the party which is creating a youthful image,” Mr Trenorden said.
“The whole thing was like a Labor Party branch-stacking exercise.
“Our leader Brendon Grylls did not support me: nor did Mia Davies MLC who is the party’s campaign director.
“In fact, Mia was a major player in the move against me.
“If I didn’t have Brendon’s support, he had a moral responsibility to tell me, rather than hang me out to dry.
“That is the way it is done in the country.”
For four of his 26 years in the Parliament, Mr Trenorden was National Party leader, but there was tension between him and Mr Grylls when the seat of Avon was abolished in 2008 and Mr Trenorden agreed to move to head the National Party ticket for the Legislative Council Agricultural Region to make way for Mr Grylls in the new Lower House seat of Central Wheatbelt.
After only one term, Mr Trenorden has been abandoned, Mr Grylls is making death or glory bid for the seat of Pilbara and Ms Davies will be the Nationals candidate for the Central Wheatbelt.
It may not be the end of Mr Trenorden.
“I would much rather my constituents decide I have reached my use by date than my party, which has kicked me out,” he said.
“Already a group of prominent people has asked me to stand as an independent and it is tempting.
On the other side of politics, Jennacubbine farmer and Labor activist Darren West has been promoted to top spot on the ALP’s Agricultural Region ticket.
He replaces sitting MLC Matt Benson who lives outside the electorate
While Mr West is certain of election he says Mr Trenorden will be a loss to the region and Northam in particular.
“He has tremendous knowledge and experience and is a true servant of Northam,” he said.
“I was looking forward to working with him in a bipartisan way.”