Recently-raided Senator steps down
An Australian senator recently targeted in AFP raids has decided to spend more time with his family.
Veteran Labor figure and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Victorian Senator Stephen Conroy, made the surprise announcement late last week that he is retiring from politics at the end of this month.
Just weeks after being sworn-in for another six year term, Senator Conroy has decided to rededicate himself to his family, most likely putting food on the table by looking for work in the private sector.
“When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter’s soccer training it is time to retire from the Federal Parliament,” he said.
“It’s time for me to hang up my boots.”
Senator Conroy’s rush for the back door comes just a few months after the Australian Federal Police searched his office and one of his staffer’s homes in connection with documents leaked from National Broadband Network (NBN).
The future for the documents remains in limbo after Conroy asserted parliamentary privilege on them, so they will stay sealed until the protection can debated by the parliamentary privileges committee.
Conroy’s office was reportedly among those raided three weeks ago in an AFP sweep of the Department of Parliamentary Services, which controls Parliament House in Canberra.
The authorities were allegedly looking for emails between Labor staff members, including Conroy.
With the police matters and the Senator’s involvement still unresolved, the full set of reasons Conroy’s departure from Parliament will be a matter of strong conjecture for some time.
“It has been a great privilege to serve as a Senator for Victoria, as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labor Party in the Senate and as a Cabinet Minister in two Labor Governments. It is also a great responsibility,” he said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten praised Conroy for his “tireless contribution”, saying: “He goes with my goodwill, my best wishes and my thanks for his service.”