Much-loved Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey has announced her “immensely tough decision” to resign from parliament, after revealing she has been battling depression for some time.
Ms Stuckey, who was due to retire after the upcoming state election in October, made the shock announcement on Wednesday.
“I am unable to give the electorate that I love so dearly the attention and energy that I have provided for the past 16 years and hope everyone will understand how difficult it has been to make this final choice,” Ms Stuckey said.
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“The past twelve months have been a real struggle for me and I deeply resent insensitive reporting I am fed up or I am spitting the dummy — I am unwell and have been for some time.
“I have always empathised with people who suffer from depression … I thought it would never happen to me but it got me and it’s been overwhelming.
“The black cloud just swamped me over and over again when I least expected it.”
The long serving MP continued by condemning the amount of bullying that she says goes on in politics, pleading for it to stop.
“It is important to note that no other workplace would put up with the level of bullying, personal attacks and insults that take place in politics. It’s getting worse and it needs to change,” Ms Stuckey said.
“Insults that used to be like water off a duck’s back started to affect me. Being ridiculed and abused for standing up for my community and speaking out on their behalf was taking its toll in a manner that was detrimental to my health.
“I have made the immensely tough decision to leave now and focus on getting well and hope I can contribute in the years ahead to this wonderful community who have put their faith in me for so long.
“I thank the people of the Currumbin electorate from the bottom of my heart for giving me the honour of serving them since 2004. It has been a truly wonderful privilege.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington praised Ms Stuckey for all of her achievements over the years and her confidence to openly reveal her battle with depression.
“On behalf to the LNP, I want to thank Jann Stuckey for her dedicated service to the people of Currumbin and the people of Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Jann’s many contributions included her successful campaign to upgrade the M1 and she was one of the best Small Business Minister’s Queensland has ever had.
“It is courageous of Jann to reveal her struggle with mental illness and it will hopefully raise awareness of this serious issue.
“I wish Jann and her husband Richard all the best with the next chapter of their lives.”
LNP President David Hutchinson said the party was sad at the decision but wished Ms Stuckey all the best for the future.
“Jann Stuckey has been a fierce and tireless advocate for the people of Currumbin since she was first elected in 2004,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“We are sad that Jann Stuckey has been forced to this decision to resign from the Queensland Parliament for health reasons.
“Jann has always spoken her mind, stood up for her community and done what she has believed to be right,”
“We wish Jann all the very best for a healthy recovery and thank her for her many years of service to the people of Currumbin and our great state of Queensland.”
The LNP says it will expedite the preselection process to announce the Party’s candidate for Currumbin.