AUSTRALIA’S Federal Minister for Women and Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer has confirmed she will quit politics at the upcoming election.
In a shock press conference on Saturday afternoon, Ms O’Dwyer said she could not commit to another three year term, citing “very personal reasons”.
“After much agonising and with a heavy heart, I will be announcing I will not be re-contesting the seat of Higgins at the next election,” she said.
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“I need to be honest about the fact that I can’t commit to another three years and continue to deliver the quality of service that my country, party and community expect.
“This decision has been made both harder and easier based on my great friendship with the Prime Minister.”
Ms O’Dwyer said she wanted to spend more time with her children, who will soon each primary school age.
“I no longer want to consistently miss out on seeing my children when they wake up in the morning or go to bed at night,” she said.
“This does not mean that men or women need to choose between family and public service.
“With the right support, you can do both, and do both well.”
The Federal Minister for Women also cited her and her husband’s desire to have a third child and, noting she is turning 42, said “everything needs to go right”.
“Like so many families, our journey to parenthood have not been straightforward and if my husband and I want to give ourselves the opportunity for a third child we have to be realistic.”
Ms O’Dwyer has been in Parliament since replacing Peter Costello in a 2009 by-election.
Standing beside Ms O’Dwyer in Saturday’s presser, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he supported her decision.
“I support all women’s choices,” Mr Morrison said.