SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER STEPS DOWN

SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER STEPS DOWN

FEDERAL Minister for small business Nick Sherry (pictured) today announced his retirement from the Ministry effective as of tomorrow (Dec 13).

After 21 years in the senate, the 56-year-old will not contest pre-selection in 2013 but will continue in his position as Senator for Tasmania.

Sherry, who is also Minister assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation and Minister assisting on Tourism, released a statement that outlined three interrelated reasons for his decision: serving 14 years on the front bench during more than 21 years in the Senate – three years as a parliamentary secretary (1993-96), seven years as a shadow minister (between 1996-2007) and four years as a minister since 2007; he has just turned 56; and he has three young children.

“Given these factors, I believe it is an appropriate time to step aside well before the next election to allow another member of the Parliamentary Labor Party the opportunity to serve as a minister,” says Sherry.

“This was my decision taken after consultation with close friends outside the Parliament. I then informed the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senate Government Leader, Chris Evans.

“I have enjoyed immensely a wide range of responsibilities - in primary industry and resources, superannuation and corporate law, assistant treasurer, small business, tourism and deregulation.

“The policy challenges were significant, particularly during the Global Financial Crisis phase 1. I have been proud to represent Australia and to have been a minister in successive Labor Governments.

“I thank Prime Minister Gillard for appointing me in 2010. The trust and confidence is appreciated. We have enjoyed a very good working relationship. I also thank her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, for my initial appointment as Australia’s first Superannuation Minister. We have also enjoyed a very good relationship.”

Sherry says he is ‘fit, energetic, enjoy good health and I am happy with life’.

Meanwhile, Queensland Police Minister Neil Roberts has stepped down ahead of the 2012 state elections where the LNP has emerged as the party most likely to lead Queensland to the polls.

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