I have today announced that I am standing down as Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Industry. I am also retiring as the Member of Parliament for Lyndhurst.
I have reached this decision after careful consideration. It has been an honour to represent the people of Lyndhurst and the Australian Labor Party in the Victorian Parliament. It has also been a privilege to serve for eight years as a Minister in a number of portfolios in the Bracks and Brumby Governments and to serve as a Shadow Minister over the last two years.
Since being elected to Council at the age of nineteen I have been in public life almost continuously for more than twenty years. I have given everything that I have to serving in public life, but I have reached the point where it is time for me to do other things with my life. I have not been offered nor sought alternative employment, I plan to take some time off to think about the next chapter of my life.
I believe it is the right time for the Australian Labor Party and myself. I also believe that it is fair for the people of Lyndhurst.
In these circumstances it would not be appropriate to continue as a senior Shadow Minister if I am not committed to serving in a Labor Government after the next election. It is only fair to my Labor Party colleagues to step down as a Shadow Minister now and allow the party to select the team that it will take to the next election.
While a by-election will cause some inconvenience for the people of Lyndhurst, I believe it is better for my electorate to have the services of a new Member committed to serving over the long term and able to establish themselves immediately in the community and in the Parliament.
I would like to thank the Australian Labor Party for affording me the enormous privilege of holding elected office. I will always be a proud member of the Party that I joined when I was seventeen years old- it's a Party with a compelling history and an enduring role in Australia's future.
I wish to thank the people of Lyndhurst for electing me four times as their representative. Representing one of Australia's multicultural communities has seared in me a fierce belief in the enormous strength that multiculturalism brings to our nation.
I wish to also thank the incredible staff that I have worked with over many years. I have demanded much from them but I hope never more than I have demanded of myself.
Finally, I want to thank those Victorians who I have worked with over my time in public life. In particular I recognise our innovative manufacturers, our passionate tourism and major events sector and our road safety experts who have made Victoria's roads amongst the safest in the world. I also pay special tribute to those Victorians in our water industry who saw us through our State's worst ever drought and who have safeguarded our water supplies for decades to come. Lastly, I want to thank our police and volunteer emergency service workers. I was honoured to be your Minister and I will be forever grateful for your selflessness and professionalism in ensuring that I was reunited with my family and loved ones.
I convey my best wishes to Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Parliamentary Labor Party and wish them every success in November 2014.