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Bob Baldwin, Liberal Member For Paterson, Announces Retirement

Bob Baldwin, the Liberal member for Paterson, has announced that he will retire at this year’s election.

BaldwinBaldwin, 60, won Paterson in 2013 with 59.78% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 53.86% of the primary vote. However, under the recent NSW redistribution, Paterson is now notionally a Labor seat, with a margin of 0.4%. Baldwin’s announcement is not altogether unexpected.

The abolition of neighbouring Charlton, held by the ALP’s Pat Conroy, led to Jill Hall retiring from Shortland, allowing Conroy to transfer there and thereby allowing Joel Fitzgibbon to remain in Hunter, which now absorbs much of the old Charlton.

The ALP has preselected Meryl Swanson to contest Paterson.

Baldwin first won the NSW electorate in 1996 but lost it at the 1998 federal election, before regaining it in 2001. The seat takes in Neath, Kurri Kurri and Williamtown in the south, and along the Hunter River and Port Stephens in the north. It includes Maitland, Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace.

During his 17 years in parliament, Baldwin served as a Parliamentary Secretary in the final two years of the Howard government (2006-07). In the Abbott government, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry (2013-14) and then to the Minister for the Environment (2014-15). He was not included in the Turnbull ministry.

Baldwin is the 13th member of the coalition parties in the House of Representatives to announce his retirement. He is the second coalition member from NSW to depart, joining Nationals member for Calare, John Cobb.

Statement by Bob Baldwin, posted on Facebook.

Statement from Bob Baldwin MP

Paterson MP Bob Baldwin has today announced he will retire from Federal politics.

“After much consideration and serious deliberation I have decided to withdraw my nomination and will not contest the seat of Paterson at the next election,”’ he said.

“I have not come to the decision lightly and I feel it is time to move on with my life and allow others the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of entering parliament with fresh enthusiasm.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the community over so many terms and feel I have left a legacy of many successful projects working in conjunction with the community and all levels of government.

“I am proud to have represented the Liberal Party in Paterson for 17 of the past 20 years. I also feel privileged to have served on the Federal executive in both Government and Opposition and I thank the party for that opportunity.”

Mr Baldwin will address local Liberal Party members at a meeting this afternoon.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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