Morwell MP takes a break
A STATE Nationals MP has stepped down from electoral duties to deal with “mental health challenges”.
Russell Northe, the member for Morwell in the Latrobe Valley, stood down yesterday for an unspecified period on doctor’s orders to recuperate. He stood down from shadow Cabinet late last year.
Colleagues have been aware that Mr Northe has struggled with personal problems for several months, amid intense pressures. Hundreds of workers in his seat lost their jobs following March’s closure of Hazelwood power station.
Nationals leader Peter Walsh confirmed Mr Northe would take an unspecified period of time off, but said he was expected to return.
“After medical advice Russell has decided to take leave in order to focus on his health and wellbeing,’’ Mr Walsh said.
“The length of Russell’s leave will depend on advice from his medical professionals.
“Russell has the full support of his colleagues and friends, and we are glad he recognised these problems and is now getting help,’’ he said.
Nationals Upper House Whip Melina Bath, who represents Eastern Victoria in the Legislative Council, will help in Morwell electorate matters.