This is a very sad day for me. My family has made massive sacrifices for me, and I’ve given my all, to represent the community of Lindsay, survivors of domestic violence, people who rely on the NDIS and those who need Labor’s progressive policies.
I support the right of anyone to have their complaints heard, which is why I cooperated fully with NSW Labor’s independent assessment, and, to uphold the confidentiality of that process, maintained my silence while my reputation was completely trashed in the media.
I kept quiet in the face of vicious and baseless smears and sensational clickbait headlines with no basis in fact. This vendetta lead to threats to my personal safety, the trolling of my children online and media parked outside my house around the clock. It has been terrifying for my kids and utterly traumatic for me.
Once again, and for the record, I absolutely reject the malicious allegations which have been published to my great detriment.
Given my reputation has been completely shredded by nameless, faceless people, I see no point in waiting for this report.
This stops now. Enough is enough. I’ve spoken with Bill Shorten and let him know that I won’t be re-contesting the next election.
I’m going on my own terms: I will continue to give my best for the wonderful community of Lindsay; I will fight to clear my name from the unbelievable mud that’s been thrown at it; I will continue to advocate on behalf of the people who elected me, who rely on a fair go for all.
In these last few difficult weeks I have been grateful for the kindness of those who know me well, my community and even complete strangers, who know that the allegations that have consumed the headlines are not a reflection of me, my character, the work I’ve done or am capable of.
I’m proud that in my short time in Canberra, I used the platform of the national parliament to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of women who suffer – or have suffered – family violence. And I’m especially proud of standing up to people like Pauline Hanson when she insulted children with autism. I did it for my son and for all the kids out there who are incredibly special members of so many families.
I would like to thank Bill, Tanya and my caucus colleagues for the support, friendship and advice they have shared with me from my first day in Parliament. It is an honour to serve with them and I look forward to the election of a Shorten Labor Government.