Member for Nicholls Damian Drum announced last week he will not contest next year’s federal election.
Mr Drum has served in the federal Parliament for the past six years and prior to that, he was a member of the Victorian upper house for 14 years.
Following his schooling at Assumption College Kilmore, Mr Drum went on to make a career as an AFL player and coach.
“I am very aware that this is a job where anything less than 110 per cent is doing a disservice to the people who have put their faith in you to represent them,” he said,
“Following discussions with my nearest and dearest in recent weeks, I believe now is the perfect time to pass the baton to someone who will represent the National Party in Nicholls and who will represent the region from within government.”
Mr Drum said he was ‘immensely proud’ to have regained the division of Murray for the National Party in 2016. The Murray division later became the seat of Nicholls, which stretches from Broadford in the south to the Murray River in the north.
“Since that time, I have not stopped advocating for the people of this great region and am proud to have delivered for the people of the Goulburn Valley from within government,” he said.
He listed helping establish the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network in the Goulburn Valley and securing $126 million for the Echuca-Moama bridge project among some of his proudest achievements.
In Victorian Parliament, he served in the upper house representing northern Victoria from 2002 to 2016.
Mr Drum said he looked forward to representing the people of Nicholls until the election next year.
“I will ensure I advocate for them and achieve outcomes right up until my final day,” he said.
“I’d like to thank my family, friends, colleagues, and staff for their support over many years, but most of all, I’d like to thank the people of Nicholls for twice electing me to represent them in the Australian Parliament – it is something I will forever be proud of.”
And he continued show his Nationals’ colours, despite not standing himself.
“Make no mistake, the people of Nicholls face an important decision at next year’s federal election,” Mr Drum said.
“Do they want a representative who has the ear of the Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister, and all government ministers, or do they want a representative who sits on a Labor-aligned crossbench while writing letters to ministers in the hope of getting a project briefing in two months’ time?”