Victorian Nationals MP, Russell Northe has resigned due to problem gambling and depression. This is following a paid leave since June 2017. Mr Northe took leave to focus on his mental health, at that stage, details had not been shared.
Russell Northe – All Debts to be Repaid
The MP is said to have borrowed excessively from members of his community, landing him in large sums of personal debt. “In the end, I realised I just couldn’t do it alone and all these things happening work wise, and in my personal life, it all came to a head,” Mr Northe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). He said that he was planning to repay all debts.
One of the people who Mr Northe borrowed from confirmed that…“He said he desperately needed the money because he was in financial stress.” The total amount that the owes various people is not known as of yet.
Russell Northe advised one of the people that he owes that he would pay back the money as soon as he liquidated some of his assets. He said that the Nationals would go on as an independent member of parliament.
“It got to a point where I literally couldn’t get out of bed. I’m lucky to be here, there’s probably a few times I was very, very close to not being here.”
Emotional Interview with Niel Mitchell
In an emotional radio interview with Niel Mitchell, Mr Northe said that he had pushed away all the people that loved him, people that have tried to support him. He told Mitchell that he had tried to fix things himself but now realises that, that did not work.
Mr Northe said that his choosing to resign would give him time to deal with some personal challenges and gambling addiction.
“The party needs to move on without me and focus on what it does best on representing regional Victoria.” Said Mr Northe.
Listen to the rest of the interview here:
What the Nationals Leader Says
The leader of the Nationals, Mr Peter Walsh said that the party had been relieved when Mr Northe decided that he would seek professional help. “He announced that he’s leaving the party today, and we’re very supportive of the fact he’s looking after his personal health and his family,” said Mr Walsh.