I have spoken with the Prime Minister to advise him that I will not be recontesting my seat of Reid at this year’s federal election.
Since 2013, it has been an absolute honour to represent the people of Reid in Canberra, as well as being Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation.
The reality of modern politics is that, more often than not, a member of parliament has to put their constituents ahead of their family, something I’ve done over the past six years.
It’s now time to focus on my family, who I have spent so much time away from.
I thank them for the many sacrifices they’ve made to allow me to represent the people of Reid.
Over the past 12 months, my family have faced a number of challenges, and as a father, husband and son, I’ve made the difficult decision to quit politics to put them first.
This was never just a job to me. It was an opportunity to serve the electorate that my family has called home for four generations.
In the years to come, I will be able to walk around this part of Sydney with the fifth generation of my family, my grandkids, and be able to point to things and proudly say, “You know what, Grandpa had something to do with that.”
I’d like to thank my local branch members who, without much experience and knowledge of me, took the punt in backing me to be the candidate for Reid in 2013 and have always been such strong supporters.
I’d also like to thank my Coalition colleagues who welcomed this Western Sydney publican with open arms into the world of politics, a world which was very unusual to me, but I’ve loved every minute of my chance to serve a community and country I love.
At a time where the vast majority of Australians see politics as fiercely divided, the irony is, I’ve made friendships that I believe will be lifelong on both sides of the chamber and am extremely proud of that.