Sudmalis to announce she will not contest Gilmore at next election
Late this afternoon 9 News reported that Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis has confirmed she won’t contest the next election, despite pleas from the prime minister to change her mind. In their preliminary report, ahead of the formal announcement tonight, Ms Sudmalis is reported as having advised Scott Morrison she will withdraw her nomination for preselection and has also opened fire on sections of the New South Wales Liberal Party, who she said has undermined and leaked against her for more than six years. In a statement, Ms Sudmalis told 9 News that her decision "has everything to do with the NSW State Division and the actions of one of my state Liberal colleagues." "The local self-determined senior Liberal has been leaking damaging material to media, holding publicity stunts that are completely against federal policy initiatives, and has overall been unfair and unethical," she said Ms Sudmalis holds Gilmore with a margin of just 0.7 per cent and has recently faced a preselection challenge from Milton real estate agent Grant Schultz In her official statement just released Ms Sudmalis said "In the first instance, let me make the following plain. Scott Morrison, apart from being the new Prime Minister, is also someone I see as a friend. He is a man of integrity and he’s absolutely passionate about the long-term progress and vision for Australia. As I respect the position of Scott as Prime Minister and he is also a friend, I endeavoured to hold my decision in private until after the Wentworth by-election. "Now, unfortunately, that is not possible. I have asked the Prime Minister to acknowledge that I am withdrawing my nomination. I have never before said how I voted in the Party Room for the position of Prime Minister, but as this has been some of the undermining process by those who actually don’t know; Let me confirm that I have never voted against a sitting Prime Minister! " did not support the spill motion. I supported Malcolm Turnbull through the entire process. The position of Prime Minister should not be a dispensable position. I want to make it abundantly clear, my decision has nothing to do with the leadership of Scott Morrison" "I want to make it abundantly clear, my decision has nothing to do with the leadership of Scott Morrison nor my Federal colleagues. However, my decision has everything to do with the NSW State Division and the actions of one of my state liberal colleagues. "Since the day of winning pre-selection in 2012, the local self-determined senior liberal has been leaking damaging material to media, holding publicity stunts that are completely against federal policy initiatives, and has overall been unfair and unethical. The final straw came when my supportive FEC committee at the AGM was completely rolled. "It is at the NSW State Division level that I have had little or no support during the past six months while waiting for the pre-selection process, which should have been determined well before now. My decision has been made after six and a half years of holding my pledge to be a team player in the face of NSW Liberal party bullying, intimidation, leaking and undermining at a local level. "I am concerned that the media will interpret my decision as a reflection on the leadership of Scott Morrison, if they do, they will be lying. Scott Morrison truly is a good man." In a supportive media release issued late this afternoon Fiona Phillips, Labor Candidate For Gilmore, has thanked Ms Sudmalis for her service saying "Ann Sudmalis has today announced her intention not to recontest the seat of Gilmore at the next election." "I thank the Member for Gilmore, Ms Sudmalis for her service to our region in the nation's parliament. I pay tribute to her for the personal sacrifices she has made as our representative, and also those of her family and staff"
"Whilst Ann Sudmalis and I have fundamental disagreements on what is best for our region, I do not doubt her dedication and sincerity to serve".
"I would like to work closely with Ms Sudmalis for the remainder of her term to achieve real and significant improvements for our local dairy farmers who face crisis during this drought."
Above: Ms Sudmalis, Member for Gilmore earlier this month at Bravehearts’ 22nd annual White Balloon Day