Liberal Senator for NSW Jim Molan has taken leave for further testing and treatment for what he has described as “an aggressive form of cancer”.
Senator Molan, who lives at Royalla with his wife Anne, announced on Monday (5 April) that the diagnosis had come as a shock. The 70-year-old is a 40-year veteran of the Army and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in Iraq.
Senator Molan said he has many reasons to be positive.
“I am receiving the best possible care from my clinicians, and have the love, support and prayers of my family. I have never been afraid to fight the battles that need fighting, and this is no exception,” he said.
“I will be taking leave from the Senate for further testing to confirm the prognosis and to commence treatment.
“I thank you for your support, and we ask for privacy at this time.”
Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain, who has worked alongside Senator Molan for many years, wished her colleague well.
“All the best, Jim, see you back on the Hill soon,” Ms McBain said.
Senator Molan is also the father of Channel Nine personality Erin Molan.
In the Australian Army, he reached the rank of Major-General and served in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Germany, the United States and Iraq.
He held a senior operations role during the Iraq War and wrote a book about his experiences, Running The War In Iraq.
Locally, he is a volunteer with the Jerrabomberra Creek firefighting brigade and is a qualified pilot.
Senator Molan retired from the Army in 2008 and became involved in politics. He helped write the Abbott Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy, which included turning boats back to Indonesia.
Senator Molan gained his seat in the Senate after twice taking vacancies left by former senators, first Fiona Nash in 2018, who was disqualified due to her dual British citizenship, and then following the 2019 Federal election when he failed to gain a Senate seat but was selected to serve the remainder of Arthur Sinodinos’s term.
There were persistent rumours that he intended to run for Eden-Monaro in the midst of a heated pre-selection campaign and an explosive falling out in 2020 between NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, the Member for Bega and NSW Transport Minister.
While not specifically ruling out the possibility, Senator Molan downplayed a run at the House of Representatives, telling Region Media at the time that his focus was on serving the people of NSW as a senator and recognising that the needs of fire-affected people in Eden-Monaro are best represented in the Lower House.
Senator Molan said his office in Queanbeyan will remain open and fully operational while he is on leave.