John Forrest, The Nationals member for Mallee since 1993, has announced he will retire from the House of Representatives at this year’s federal election.
Mallee, in north-western Victoria, is the safest Coalition electorate in the nation. Forrest won it in 2010 with 74.41% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 66.79% of the primary vote. The ALP polled 19.89%.
There has been a redistribution in Victoria. Mallee’s margin is now estimated to be 23.3%.
Mallee includes the towns of Mildura in the north, Warracknabeal, St Arnaud and Horsham in the south, and Swan Hill and Kerang in the east. It has been held by The Nationals, formerly the Country Party, since its creation in 1949. Forrest is only its third member in that time.
Forrest is the thirteenth member of the House of Representatives to opt for retirement at this year’s election.
It is not clear at this stage if the Liberal Party will nominate a candidate in Mallee. Three-cornered contests involving the Coalition usually only occur when a seat is vacant.
Text of statement published on John Forrest’s website:
The Nationals thank John Forrest
The Nationals Federal President, Mrs Christine Ferguson has paid tribute to John Forrest following his announcement today that he will retire from the Federal Parliament after 20 years of outstanding service at the next Federal election.
John was first elected in 1993 and has served The Nationals with distinction ever since. John has personified The Nationals motto of ‘local champion’ working tirelessly in the best interests of his electorate since the day he was first elected.
At the national level, John has championed development of the regions including the important role he played during the introduction of the Roads to Recovery program. One of Johns major achievements was the part he played in gaining $450 million for the Wimmera Mallee pipeline which has resulted in a total project now valued at $1 billion.
In the Parliament, John has served as The Nationals Chief Whip and on many Parliamentary Committees.
John has served his electorate of Mallee and The Nationals with distinction and on behalf of the Party I thank him and his wife Pam for their outstanding service.
I wish John and Pam every success in their future endeavors.