I joined the Liberal Party as a 17 year old because I believe people should be free to choose their own paths in life, that they should be rewarded for hard work and enterprise, and that everyone, regardless of background or
circumstance, deserves respect and the opportunity to live their best life.
I have been profoundly grateful for the opportunity to represent those values and the privilege of representing my local community's issues, both big and small, as the Federal Member for Higgins.
However, today, after much agonising and with a heavy heart, I am announcing that I will not recontest the next election.
This decision has been made both harder, and easier, because of my admiration for, and friendship with the Prime Minister and my conviction that he will lead our Government to victory in May.
I need to be honest that I cannot commit to serve another three years and continue to deliver the quality of service that my country, Party and community are entitled to expect. There have been too many by-elections of late, and I have
no intention of causing one in the next Parliament.
The reasons are complex, and the most compelling are deeply personal. Normally, I wouldn't canvass them at all, but some will no doubt try to use my announcement to advance their own agendas - and I do not want that.