David Campbell quits as Keira MP

David Campbell will not recontest his seat of Keira at the state election in March.He made the surprise announcement this morning at a press conference in Corrimal.‘‘Quite simply, after 24 years of working often seven days a week and up to 18 hours a day, I have decided, of my own accord, to seek a new direction,’’ he said."I have never taken for granted the trust the electors have put in me at the six elections I have contested at both local government and State Government level.‘‘I am extremely grateful for the support from my family, friends, the community, my colleagues and my staff over my time in public life.‘‘I couldn’t have done it without any of these people.’’Mr Campbell said he had strong support from the ALP and was confident he would have been endorsed for his seat should he have decided to contest his seat again in 2011.‘‘My family and I, as we have done before each election, have discussed the commitment required to do the job as the Member for Keira and this time I’ve decided to seek a new direction."‘‘This wasn’t an easy decision and it’s taken me a lot of thought to reach it – but I believe it’s the right one.‘‘It’s a decision I’ve made with my family without other considerations.’’

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  • VOTE: Were you surprised by David Campbell's resignation?His political career began in 1987 when he was elected to Wollongong City Council before becoming Lord Mayor for nine years from 1991.Mr Campbell became Keira MP in March 1999 and has since served as minister in several portfolios including Regional Development, Small Business, the Illawarra, Water Utilities, Police, Transport and Roads. His decade-long parliamentary career was threatened in May when a television current affairs program aired footage of Mr Campbell visiting gay sex venue Ken’s of Kensington.The next day Mr Campbell resigned as Minister for Transport and Roads.However his career was resurrected months later when he accepted the role of Deputy Speaker of the NSW Lower House.‘‘I thank the local community who has shown confidence in me at six general elections, I thank the ALP for its continued endorsement, I thank my family for their ever-present encouragement and I recognise the hard work and support of my staff,’’ he said.‘‘I believe my strong record of achievement and delivery will stand the test of time – a record I am extremely proud of.‘‘As the Member for Keira, in each of my ministerial portfolios and previously as the Lord Mayor of Wollongong, I am proud of my achievements in infrastructure, services, public policy and the help I’ve hopefully been able to provide to members of the community.‘‘I will spend the next six months working as hard as ever as the Member for Keira.‘‘I am proud to leave public office knowing that I did my best, worked hard, delivered and hopefully made a positive difference to the community.’’FOR FULL COVERAGE SEE WEDNESDAY’S MERCURY

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