Today I have spoken with my caucus colleagues and Minister Shane Rattenbury MLA to let them know that I will be a candidate for the upcoming Senate vacancy created by Senator Kate Lundy who has announced she will not be contesting the next federal election.
Because of my decision and out of respect for the office of Chief Minister I have informed my colleagues that I will be resigning as Chief Minister on Wednesday next week.
Since Senator Lundy’s announcement the Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten and Senate leader Penny Wong have both contacted me asking me to join the federal Labor team.
After much consideration I have decided that I can use the skills I have gained in my time as Chief Minister to step into the federal arena to stand up for Canberra, defend our city and be a strong local voice for our nation’s capital. This job has never been more important than now.
This has been a very difficult decision for me. I love the job of Chief Minister and it has been an absolute privilege to serve the people of the ACT in that capacity over the last three and a half years.
Every day that I have spent in the Assembly over the past 13 years – as an MLA, a minister and then Chief Minister – I have worked hard to do the right thing by the people of Canberra, to represent their interests, and to speak up on their behalf and on behalf of the city I love.
I have been humbled by the Canberra community’s support for me and the government I have led. I am proud of our achievements and grateful to have had the opportunity to have made a contribution at this level.
Whilst it has been a hard decision to make it has been made easier with the fact that there are so many capable, good people in the ACT Labor team to carry on our work.
It is the right time for me to hand over to the next generation of local leaders who will continue to provide the policy direction and good government this community deserves.
I would like to thank all my Labor colleagues and staff, Minister Rattenbury and his staff for their support and loyalty during my time in the Assembly.
I also pay tribute to be long and distinguished career of Kate Lundy whose dedication to her community over the past 19 years has been exemplary.
Katy Gallagher MLA