Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann will not contest ALP preselection for the new southern seat of Bean and will not run at the next Federal election due to personal reasons.
Ms Brodtmann, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence, said in a statement that she had advised Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
At present nominations for preselections close on Wednesday but Ms Brodtmann’s decision will have enormous ramifications for the process with as yet no one challenging her.
“My decision has been made for entirely personal reasons,” she said.
“My mother turned 79 last week. Faye Anderson and my working class matriarchy are why I am Labor to my bootstraps and why I ran for the seat of Canberra in 2010.
“My mother is now one of the reasons why I am not nominating. By her own admission, Mum has years not decades left. I want to be there for those years.”
She said that over the winter break from Parliament, she had spent more time than usual with family and friends and that she had realised how many precious and significant moments in their lives she had missed. “I want to be there for those moments,” she said.
Ms Brodtmann said that representing the people of Canberra had been an enormous honour and privilege and given her inestimable pride and joy.
“I love my community. I love being a fierce advocate for it. I will continue to fight for it as long as I am the Member for Canberra,” she said.
“I have also loved influencing, shaping and developing policy, particularly on national and cyber security, women’s health and empowerment, small business, public service and administration and Norfolk Island.
“I want to thank the people of Canberra for putting their faith in me for three terms and Bill Shorten for the opportunity to serve on the front bench for two of those terms.”
She thanked her team, former team members and the “countless volunteers who help – and have helped – me serve Canberra”.
“And I want to thank the party and the rank and file of the ACT branch for allowing me to play some small part in the great Labor story. I will not be nominating, but will do everything in my power to ensure a Shorten Labor Government at the next election,” she said.
“Because, as I said in my first speech, we are in a battle of ideas and I believe it is desperately important that Labor wins. When we win our prosperity is shared. When we win children get the chance of a world-class education. When we win Australia gets a country that supports the weak; a nation that uses its wealth to help the poor.
“When we win individuals are encouraged to excel but never at the expense of the common good. When we win workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. When we win we fight for jobs and the environment. When we win our nation is outward looking and engaged with our allies and the forums of the world. When we win we demand from each the best they are able to give and offer to each the chance to be the best they can be.
“Since 1983 I’ve been handing out how to votes for Labor and fighting the good fight. I will be there again at the next election handing out for whoever the party’s members believe is best fit to continue our proud traditions.
To deliver a Shorten Labor Government to advance Australia and my much loved Canberra.”