Sharon Grierson Announces Retirement As Member For Newcastle

Sharon Grierson, the Labor member for Newcastle in the House of Representatives, has announced that she will not contest the next election.

The former teacher and school principal has held the New South Wales electorate for four elections since 2001.

She is the second Labor member of the House to reveal retirement plans ahead of an election the ALP is expected to lose in a landslide. Steve Gibbons, the member for Bendigo since 1998, announced his departure in August last year.

Grierson polled 47.89% of the primary vote in 2010. After preferences, she was elected with 62.49% of the two-party-preferred vote, a swing against her of 3.42% from the 2007 election.

Newcastle has been held exclusively by the ALP since 1901. Grierson is only the fifth member to hold the seat.

Grierson made a video statement on her retirement:

House of Representatives Debates Gay Marriage Resolution

An impressive debate began in the House of Representatives tonight on a motion by the Greens member, Adam Bandt, calling on parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Bandt’s motion reads:

That this House:

(1) notes there is:

(a) a growing list of countries that allow same-sex couples to marry including the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, SPain, Canada and South Africa; and

(b) widespread support for equal marriage in the Australian community; and

(2) calls on all parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Speaking to the motion, Bandt said, “there have been many attempts through history to limit love and all have failed”. The text of his speech is at the end of this page. [Read more…]