Thursday, 19 November 2009
Member for Throsby: Retirement
I take the opportunity this morning to advise my parliamentary colleagues of my intention to retire at the next federal election. It has indeed been a great privilege to represent the people of the Throsby electorate since first elected in 2001. It is a wonderful community to represent in the national parliament. I and my electorate staff have worked diligently over the years to represent their many and diverse interests and needs and to deal with their concerns as effectively as possible. We do not always win each case we pursue, but we always try our best.
We have campaigned locally over the years on many issues of importance, such as doctor shortages, dental care, youth unemployment, apprenticeships and funding for education and training, to name a few. I am so pleased that, since the election of the Rudd Labor government, we have seen a remarkable investment of funds and resources locally to address the neglect of the past. The benefits of these investments, in the hundreds of millions of dollars. will be with us for many decades ahead.
At the last federal election Labor recorded a 65 primary vote in my electorate of Throsby—the highest in New South Wales. I am sure that all who placed their faith in the election of a federal Labor government can already see the tangible benefits that have resulted in such a short space of time. Our successes are the result of collective efforts. In that regard I want to place on the record my sincere thanks to my electorate staff—Idalina, Michel, Sarah and Danielle—and to their back-up relief staff: Annie, Ben and Brian. My thanks go to my loyal supporters in the branches and to all who worked on the election campaigns and polling booths over the years. I have been sustained by the comradeship of my local union colleagues. In particular I want to mention Andy Gillespie, Garry Keane and Arthur Rorris.
It will be sad to move on but the time is right. My first appointment as a teacher was way back in 1969. My 40 years in the workforce means that I can retire well satisfied that I have made a contribution to public life in a variety of positions. But of course there is still some unfinished business between now and the next election which will keep me fully occupied. Among the issues are the establishment of the promised Medicare/Centrelink office in Warrawong, which was taken away by the Howard government, the finalisation of the CPRS and advocacy of the cogeneration plant at the local steelworks—just to name a few. In conclusion, I want to thank the community for the privilege it has afforded me in representing them in the federal parliament.