Jill Hall, Labor Member For Shortland, Announces Retirement; Clears Log-Jam For Seats

Jill Hall, the Labor member for Shortland, has announced she will not contest this year’s election. Her departure eases the way for her factional colleague Pat Conroy, whose seat of Charlton has been abolished, to take over Shortland.

HallHall, 66, has been the member for Shortland, a coastal seat south of Newcastle, since 1998 and has served six terms. She is one of just three Labor members for Shortland, since it was created in 1949.

In opting to retire, Hall has solved a problem for the ALP in the wake of the NSW redistribution, which abolished one seat. The neighbouring seat of Hunter, held by Joel Fitzgibbon, effectively supplants the abolished Charlton, held by Pat Conroy. Fitzgibbon made it clear he intended to run again. There was speculation that Conroy might challenge Hall for preselection, or that one of the MPs might have to run against the Liberal MP Bob Baldwin whose seat of Paterson has become a notional Labor seat.

Conroy and Hall are both members of the Left faction, so Conroy can now move into Shortland without upsetting the factional balance.

The Hunter region around Newcastle is friendly territory for Labor. Jill Hall’s margin in Shortland was 7.21% in 2013, after a 5.64% anti-Labor swing. The post-redistribution margin is 7.1%.

Fitzgibbon’s notional margin in Hunter is 6.2%, down slightly from the 6.33% margin he achieved in 2013.

Hall is currently the Opposition Whip. During her 18 years as member for Shortland, she has never served as a minister or shadow minister. She has extensive experience on a range of parliamentary committees. Prior to her election in Shortland, she represented the state seat of Swansea between 1995 and 1998.

Hall’s retirement brings to nine the number of Labor members retiring from the House of Representatives. The others are Laurie Ferguson (Werriwa-NSW), Alan Griffin (Bruce-Vic), Bernie Ripoll (Oxley-Qld), Kelvin Thomson (Wills-Vic), Anna Burke (Chisholm-Vic), Melissa Parke (Fremantle-WA), Alannah MacTiernan (Perth-WA) and Gary Gray (Brand-WA).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email