Michael Danby’s parliamentary’s career drawing to its end

July 5, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Federal Labor MP Michael Danby will not stand for re-election for his beloved Melbourne Ports at next year’s general election.

Michael Danby

In a published statement Michael Danby writes: “As someone whose friendship I value, I am writing to advise you that I am retiring from Federal politics, effective as of the end of the current parliamentary term. After 20 years as the Member for Melbourne Ports, it is time for the next chapter in my life.

This is wholly my choice. I would have been pre-selected for the next election had I chosen to remain. Notwithstanding the seat is marginal, I also believe I could have won the seat for an eighth term.

It has been a privilege to serve the Melbourne Ports community for such a length of time.”

This is how he broke the news to Australian media:

“I am today announcing my retirement as the Member for Melbourne Ports, Victoria, effective from the date of the next Federal election. It has been an absolute honour to serve the people of this electorate for two decades and I will be always grateful for the opportunity.

I sincerely thank my constituents, Labor colleagues led by Federal leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP and the broader Australian community for their valued support over the years.

Most particularly, I thank my wife, Amanda and children, Byron and Laura, for their love and understanding as I fulfilled my parliamentary duties, with all the time commitments entailed. I have made this decision even though the Party has committed to re-endorse sitting members because I believe it’s time for renewal.

The protection of human rights, national and international security, economic development (particularly infrastructure), democratic principles, social justice and the arts have been key themes for me in public life.

In my maiden speech to the Parliament in October 1998, I noted the rich multicultural history of Melbourne Ports since World War II and I acknowledge it again today, along with its original working class culture and the edgy arty element.

Over the past 70 years, the electorate has attracted immigrants from Eastern and Northern Europe, East Asia, the sub-continent and the Americas, among others. This diversity has created a community that embodies the spirit of contemporary Australia and reminds us all of the value of pluralism. During my terms of office I’ve revelled in attending more than 200
citizenship ceremonies.

As the Member for Melbourne Ports I have been inspired time and again by the stories of constituents who have overcome enormous odds to settle in Australia and to make a better life for themselves, as my own parents did. I have been similarly inspired by the welcome they have received from second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth generation Australians.

I believe Australia is fundamentally a tolerant and caring country and I depart politics urging the next generation of federal representatives to work assiduously to uphold the values of pluralism, diversity, ingenuity, and sheer hard work that have served this country so well.

The Parliament has a critical leadership role in this regard.

I send best wishes to the next Labor candidate for Melbourne Ports for a successful campaign.”

The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan wrote: “However, apart from his energetic work for his electorate, Mr Danby’s main contribution has been on international human rights issues and national security.
As a member of the treaties committee he played an important role in Labor’s decision last year to oppose ratifying an extradition treaty with Beijing. With Senate crossbench opposition and roiling dissent within the Liberal Party, the treaty ultimately failed.

He has on several occasions arranged the Canberra leg of visits to Australia by the Dalai Lama, as well as the Chinese Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer.

Many observers believe his most influential period in public life came when he chaired the joint parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, defence and trade.”

Michael Danby writes in J-Wire

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