RESIGNATION FROM PARLIAMENT
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that I am resigning as the Member for Eden-Monaro effective from Thursday 30 April. This has been an intensely difficult, gut wrenching decision. I contested the last Federal Election in good faith with the intention of serving the full term of this Parliament and beyond. However, I’ve had serious renal health issues to work through over these last six months, related to my former Army service, which has required ten medical procedures. These issues are ongoing and I have another procedure to come in the next few months. Added to this is the recent classification by the Department of Veterans Affairs that I am permanently impaired due to my deteriorating osteoarthritis condition. This situation has made it impossible to fulfil the challenging duties that the community in Eden Monaro rightly expects of its member. At the same time, my wife is also having health issues and I need to provide more support to her than I have been able to. I regret that my resignation will result in a by-election that will be an inconvenience for the community. I hope, however, that this will also be an opportunity to bring to the forefront the extreme issues that are confronting us through the combination of the catastrophic bushfires and now the COVID-19 situation. In this way I hope Eden Monaro will get the extra attention it needs and deserves right now. The electorate office staff will remain in place to support all those who need help, through to the declaration of the by-election poll. I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Eden-Monaro for allowing me to serve them throughout my time as Member. It has been the greatest privilege of my life. This community and region mean everything to me and I was not prepared to work on at a reduced capacity, given all the challenges ahead of us. I intend to keep fighting for our region and the issues that concern me, including our security and climate change challenges. I will also stay closely in touch with our ongoing recovery effort and the community organisations I am involved with. I wish the Australian Labor Party and our leader Anthony Albanese all the very best for the next election where I am sure they will form the next Government of Australia. I will continue to be a Labor man for the rest of my life. I wish all my parliamentary colleagues all the best in their endeavours.