Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets WA Premier Mark McGowan
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meets WA Premier Mark McGowan at Kings Park, in Perth city, Australia October 22, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters

Sydney: Western Australia’s popular premier, Mark McGowan, who isolated his state from the world at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, resigned Monday saying the job “has taken it out of me”.

Stress, sleepless nights and political confrontation had taken their toll, more than six years after his centre-left Labor Party won office, the 55-year-old state premier told a news conference.

“The truth is I’m tired, extremely tired, in fact, I am exhausted,” said an emotional McGowan, revealing that he would be gone this week.

“The role of political leadership doesn’t stop. It’s relentless. It comes with huge responsibility that is all consuming each and every day,” McGowan said.

“Combined with the Covid years, it’s taken it out of me,” he said.

Western Australia, a vast, mineral-rich region with an independent streak, largely closed its borders to foreign and other Australian entrants for two years during the pandemic.

The border closure - lasting longer than any other state in the country - was hugely popular with the Western Australian electorate.

McGowan said he no longer had the “energy or drive” to lead his party into state elections due in March 2025.

The premier said he had suffered “sleepless nights, excess worry about things, the Covid experience”, but added that he had “hidden it well”.

“I am not naturally confrontational but every day I have to engage in argument and debate and confrontation in one way or another - and I’m kind of tired of it.”