After the leadership coup last year I announced I would not be recontesting the seat of Chisholm at the next election and that I would be an Independent Member of the House of Representatives. I confirm today that I am not running as a candidate in Chisholm at the forthcoming election. I will continue to do my utmost to fulfil my obligations and responsibilities to the people of Chisholm for the duration of this term of Government and I will manage this period with respect and professionalism.

The Chisholm community is diverse, warm, embracing and vibrant and I warmly thank them for their support and goodwill throughout my term. Most importantly I look forward to maintaining the ongoing wonderful connections and friendships I have with the people of Chisholm.

Over the summer, I deeply considered and reflected on my future career path. On a personal level, my husband Mike and I look forward to our time at our family home on the Mornington Peninsula which we’ve had for over 20 years – it has been and shall always remain an irreplaceable part of our lives. My parents also lived on the Peninsula for many years and as my children grew up I’ve had the joy of being a part of the local community with its unique and beautiful environment and its warm, caring and friendly residents who have a strong sense of community.

Over recent months I’ve had many discussions with family, friends and locals across the Flinders electorate and everyone I spoke with were supportive and respected my decision of last year and expressed their frustration at the major party dysfunction, combative politics and game playing.

No matter where we live, local communities are the heart and soul of our great country. It’s important that the people of Flinders are not taken for granted and have a strong Independent representative who listens, gives it their all and takes pride in being their voice.

I realised that everything I’ve stood and fought for my entire adult life intersects with this moment in time in Australia. There’s still work to be done and unfinished business. I’ve decided I’m staying in this race. I intend to run as an Independent candidate for Flinders at the next election.

I’ve always given 100% and this will be no different. My values are in the sensible centre and at the core of what I stand for. I’ll always support policies which reflect economic responsibility whilst being socially progressive.  Supporting those who work hard and have worked hard for their financial independence and deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour; ensuring the best possible aged care, childcare, health and education services.

Climate change is not only real – it is happening. Clean renewable energy is the future. It will be cheaper, healthier and better for our environment and effective climate change action policy is an urgent imperative. In relation to refugees I’ll always be an advocate for a humanitarian approach which is the essence of our compassionate character as Australians. And I’ll continue focused advocacy on gender equality, fair and equitable workplace cultures and equal representation of women in leadership positions.

The optimism and goodwill of the Australian people is second to none and it would be my profound honour to represent the people of Flinders in our Federal Parliament.

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