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ALP Senator John Faulkner To Retire At Next Election

Senator John Faulkner, a former minister in the Keating, Rudd and Gillard Labor governments, is to retire at the next federal election.

FaulknerFaulkner, long regarded as the ALP’s historian, confidant of leaders and conscience of the party, announced today that he will not nominate for Senate preselection.

The next election is most likely to be held in late 2016. Faulkner’s term expires on June 30, 2017.

Faulkner was first appointed to the Senate in 1989, following the retirement of Arthur Gietzelt. He was elected to successive terms in 1993, 1998, 2004 and 2010.

He held a variety of portfolios in the Keating government between 1993 and 1996, including Veterans’ Affairs, Defence Science and Personnel, Sport and Territories, and Environment. He was Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary in the Rudd government from 2007 until 2009, and Minister for Defence from 2009 until 2010.

Known for his forensic inquisitions in Senate committees, Faulkner has also been a vocal, persistent and consistent advocate of reform of the ALP. Today, he said his commitment to party reform remained “undiminished”.

Statement from Senator John Faulkner.

Statement on the calling of NSW Senate preselections

In 1989 I was privileged to become a member of the Australian Parliament.

Across the 25 years since then, this allowed me the unqualified honour of representing the Australian Labor Party, its members and its supporters, as a Senator for NSW, a minister or Cabinet minister in three Labor governments, as Senate Opposition Leader for eight years, and as a member of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party – the Caucus – under 8 Federal leaders, four of whom served as Prime Minister.

On Friday, the NSW Branch of the ALP will be calling nominations for pre-selection to the Senate term beginning July 1, 2017. I will not be putting my name forward. A quarter of a century is a long time, and my current term still has three years to run. To seek a further six year term would be an indulgence.

That said, I cannot stress enough my intense gratitude and thanks for the trust and support given me over these many years by my party and its loyal and often much put-upon members. Neville Wran nailed it when he once said that no one of us could ever claim to have given more to the Australian Labor Party than any of us had received from it. That is certainly true in my case.

The only other point I make at this time concerns not my future, so much as Labor’s.

Although I am today giving notice of my intention not to renominate for the Senate, I do intend to continue representing – in ALP forums, in the community at large, and while I remain in the Parliament – the interests of the Labor Party, its membership, and those supporters who still vote for us.

My commitment to party reform and internal renewal remains undiminished. At the NSW ALP Annual Conference in July, I will be arguing just as forcefullly for my proposed changes to the Party’s Rules to address internal corruption and to open up the closed factional processes of selecting Senate and NSW Legislative Council candidates.

No issue is more critical for Labor in New South Wales.

Labor Senator for NSW

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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