Brad Hazzard, The Hon. Member for wakehurst + David Elliott, The Hon. Member for baulkham hills, announce they will step down from state Politics: their statements + Updates on other local seats
The Liberal politician Joseph Chamberlain is recorded in 1886 as having said: ‘In politics, there is no use in looking beyond the next fortnight.’
His words have rung true this week as two more Liberal party members announced they will not contest the March 2023 state election - long serving MP for Wakehurst Brad Hazzard and straight up MP for Baulkham Hills, David Elliott, after his seat has been abolished in the recent redistribution of districts. Baulkham Hills is set to become the seat of Kellyville.
Last month, the Minister for Families and Community Services, Natasha Maclaren-Jones was quick to announce her run for the seat of Pittwater when Infrastructure Minister Rob Stokes announced his departure form state politics.
However, Northern Beaches Councillor Rory Amon apparently has numbers in the branch and may win the preselection.
Another nominee, Claire Longley, the daughter of former Pittwater MP Jim Longley, is also keen to contest the seat of Pittwater.
Current Roads Minister and Upper House MP, Natalie Ward, is attempting to be preselected for the seat of Davidson on the lower north shore, which would boost female representation in the Lower House.
Liberal staffer, Matt Cross also has his eye on the seat. Current MP Jonathan O'Dea is retiring at the election, and Mr Cross, who has been very active in the community, may also raise his hand during the preselection.
There's no confirmation yet on which Liberal Party member is interested in standing for the seat of Wakehurst.
Mr Hazzard's and Mr Elliott's statements run below, verbatim.
2023 NSW State Election - Redistributed Electoral Districts Changes For Pittwater, Wakehurst, Manly And Davidson
Statement by Brad Hazzard
October 25, 2022
After 32 years of service as the MP for Wakehurst, including 12 years as a senior Cabinet Minister and 16 years as a Shadow Minister, it is time for a new beginning.
First and foremost, I want to thank my wife and my family for their support, especially over these past three COVID-challenged years.
I thank the NSW Liberal Party, Wakehurst branch members and our local community for allowing me - over eight successive elections - to be their voice in the NSW Parliament.
I want to thank every Liberal Leader since 1995 for the honour of continuous service on the frontbench but particularly, Premiers O’Farrell, Baird, Berejiklian and Perrottet.
Under their leadership, the Liberals and Nationals turned around the fortunes of NSW. Our great State is in a vastly better place than it was when we came to Government.
I have enjoyed every moment working with the community organisations, local schools and individuals in my electorate, who strive to make Wakehurst a better place to live.
I thank my Wakehurst electorate staff who have always supported me to achieve positive outcomes for our community, and there are a few highlights to single out.
Opening our magnificent Northern Beaches Hospital alongside the many dedicated and professional health staff there, is one of many outstanding moments.
Despite years of promises, Labor never delivered our hospital but the Liberals and Nationals did, along with a further $178 billion in infrastructure projects for NSW. Among these, the $600 million upgrade of the Wakehurst Parkway and Warringah Rd intersection; the East-West expansion of Warringah Road; and the soon-to-be built new Forest High School at Allambie Heights.
I want to thank the incredible staff who have worked in my ministerial office over the years in the portfolios of Planning, Infrastructure, Justice, Attorney-General, Social Housing, Family and Community Services, Medical Research, Health and as Leader of the House in the Legislative Assembly.
I acknowledge all the public servants I have been honoured to work with. NSW is blessed to have such committed and capable civil servants. I include amongst them former NSW Health Executive Secretary Elizabeth Koff, Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce (now Secretary) and the amazing public health team lead by Dr Kerry Chant.
As NSW Health Minister it has been the best of times and the worst of times.
The best of times has been working with the incredibly talented staff in our health system, the building of 180 hospitals and health facilities across NSW (with more to come); as well as the huge increases in staff. NSW Health is the biggest health agency in Australia with over 160,000 staff and now has a budget of $33 billion, double that under Labor, and almost a third of the entire NSW Budget.
The worst of times came with COVID-19. When the pandemic began, we were bracing for an expected 25,000 deaths in NSW in the first year. There were many anguished nights. What followed was a gruelling and a deeply upsetting time where rapid decisions had to be made to try and keep 8.5 million people safe from the virus.
All I can say to the NSW community is everyone did their very best to keep you safe. I particularly want to praise Premiers Gladys Berejiklian and Dominic Perrottet for their support of NSW Health and myself throughout the pandemic. I am forever grateful.
Non Ministerial matters have also been very important to me. Working with colleagues across the political divide to right the antiquated wrong of potential criminalisation of women and doctors who found themselves making the difficult decision to undertake an abortion, was another important moment for me.
I am also very proud of initiating the discussions 30 years ago which led to the western forecourt wall of the NSW Parliament being committed to the Aboriginal community to ensure there is a place in the mother parliament of the nation that recognises the first peoples of this nation.
Finally, whilst the NSW Liberal party gave me the opportunity to make a difference, I want to acknowledge that I have worked with many wonderful people from all sides of politics throughout my career. They have been genuinely committed to making NSW a better place for everyone and upholding the values of democracy that we hold dear.
The Hon. Member for Wakehurst. Photo source: website of Brad Hazzard, MP.
Statement by the Hon. David Elliott, MP for Baulkham Hills
October 22, 2022
With the abolition of my Baulkham Hills electorate and advice that I cannot be accommodated in the new seat of Castle Hill on factional grounds, I have today advised my community that I will not be re contesting the 2023 State Election.
I will not be publishing a dissertation of what I have, or haven’t, achieved over my 12 years in Parliament. That’s a job for my constituents.
I simply want to offer my thanks to three groups.
Firstly, the people of Baulkham Hills have given me fantastic support and encouragement. Nicole and I moved to The Hills Shire when I discharged from the Army more than twenty years ago and we immediately felt welcomed. It’s an honour to be the last Member for Baulkham Hills.
Secondly, to the 200,000 police and corrections officers, volunteer and salaried fire fighters, emergency services and transport personnel who I have represented in Cabinet over eight years I offer my thanks and best wishes. All of this could not have been done without the tireless work of my ministerial and electorate staff. They deserve the Victoria Cross.
Needless to say whilst I may not be continuing as the Veterans Minister I won’t be leaving this honourable fraternity. It’s been a privilege.
Finally, to Nicole, Lachlan and William. The burden of public life is heaviest on those we love. Whilst the boys and I have always had a good giggle at the emotion and thought invested into the “constructive feedback” I’ve sometimes attracted, I know Nicole often took it personally. Her loyalty has been inspirational.
Having spent nearly two decades serving my country in both the military and the NSW Parliament, I leave public service content that I’ve done the best job I could.
The Hon. Member for Baulkham Hills. Photo: A J Guesdon