WA Liberals director Sam Calabrese steps down after election wipeout

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WA Liberals director Sam Calabrese steps down after election wipeout

By Hamish Hastie

WA Liberals state director Sam Calabrese has resigned from his position less than a month after his party’s historic election defeat.

In a message to members sent on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Calabrese said after three-and-a-half years in the role and 14 years serving the party he was stepping down for personal reasons and to allow for a replacement to be found ahead of next year’s federal election.

Retiring WA Liberal Director Sam Calabrese.

Retiring WA Liberal Director Sam Calabrese.Credit:Sam Calabrese/Facebook

“After 14 years, close to half my life dedicated to serving the party in the secretariat and as an adviser in the Liberal state government, my reasons for leaving are purely personal and will enable me to pursue a new path,” he said.

“I have given it my all each and every day, and with a federal election next year, it is the most appropriate time for a transition to a new state director.”

The Liberal party experienced a 9.9 per cent swing against it at the March 13 state election, leaving it with just two seats in the lower house.

On Tuesday WA Labor’s dominance in the upper house was also declared with an eight-seat gain to secure it an overwhelming majority.

Even before the final lower house seats were declared members were pointing the finger at party policy decisions such as its green energy policy and former opposition leader Zak Kirkup’s concession of the election a fortnight before polling day.

The party is in the process of selecting a committee to scrutinize the events leading up to the defeat.

Whoever takes over from Mr Calabrese will have a tough job rebuilding confidence in the Liberal brand and dealing with finances battered by the failed campaign.


Mr Calabrese said the party had an opportunity to rebuild.

“While we all share in the disappointment of the state election result, our party now has the opportunity to rebuild with stronger foundations,” he said

“I encourage everyone to take part in this process with a collaborative focus. It is a journey all Western Australian Liberals need to take together if we want to succeed.

“Our unexpected, but hard-earned wins at the Darling Range by-election and the 2019 federal election are not only memories I will treasure but demonstrate what we as a party are capable of when we work together with a united focus.”

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