The former Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has announced he will retire from parliament at this year’s election.
McClelland is the Labor member for Barton in Sydney. He has held the seat since 1996.
His two-party-preferred margin at the 2010 election was 6.86%, following a swing of 8.08% against the ALP. The ALP primary vote was 48.48%.
McClelland was Attorney-General in the Rudd government from its election in 2007 and under Gillard until December 2011 when he was demoted to Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Emergency Management.
He was sacked from the ministry last March, following his public support for Kevin Rudd’s failed leadership challenge.
There was media speculation today that the former NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, may be interested in ALP preselection for Barton.
McClelland is the fifth Labor member of the House of Representatives to announce his retirement. The others are Steve Gibbons (Bendigo-Vic), Sharon Grierson (Newcastle-NSW), Harry Jenkins (Scullin-Vic) and Kirsten Livermore (Capricornia-Qld).
Four Liberal MPs are also retiring. They are Joanna Gash (Gilmore-NSW), Judi Moylan (Pearce-WA), Alby Schultz (Hume-NSW) and Mal Washer (Moore-WA).
Two Queensland LNP members are retiring. They are Paul Neville (Hinkler) and Alex Somlyay (Fairfax).
Statement from Robert McClelland, Member for Barton.
I have today advised the General Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party that I have decided not to seek preselection as the ALP’s candidate for the seat of Barton in the next Federal election. After almost 17 years in Federal Parliament my decision has not been taken lightly and follows discussion over the Christmas recess with my family and friends.
I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the constituents of Barton. I owe them a deep sense of gratitude for their support over the past 17 years. It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to represent them in the Parliament of Australia.
The electorate of Barton is a remarkable area with a long established sense of community that has been supplmented by the drive and energy of people who have come from all corners of the globe to make our great country their home. I comment the work of local community organisations and the representatives at all levels of Government with whom I have had the privilege of working to make our area a shining example of a harmonious and vibrant community.
I would also like to thank my family, staff, friends and supporters for their constancy over the past 17 years. They have provided the foundation and support for all that I have been able to achieve as the federal Member for Barton and as a Minister of the Crown.
I wish my successor all the very best in the important and tremendously satisfying role that lays ahead for him or her and I look forward to continuing to make a contribution to the Australian community in the next stage of my professional career.