AFTER two successful federal election campaigns, Cathy McGowan has announced she will not stand for the seat of Indi in 2019.
Ms McGowan made the announcement in Wodonga on Monday morning, following the appointment of Dr Helen Haines as her successor at Saturday's Voices for Indi forum.
The independent MP shot to prominence after ousting sitting Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella in 2013.
She repeated that success in the 2016 election, before becoming a key member of the crossbench alongside the likes of Julia Banks and Kerryn Phelps in 2018.
“I've decided that the timing is right – I've run the first leg of an amazing relay, to improve representation and service delivery for our communities in rural and regional Australia,” Ms McGowan said.
“Now, it is time to pass on the baton.
“We know the main political parties are going to throw everything at Indi, and I say bring it on.”
Ms McGowan had hinted at the possibility of stepping down from the seat for some time, but had not made any indication of her final position until Monday's press conference.
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She said the outcome of Saturday's forum, coupled with conversations with parliamentary colleagues, had led to her decision.
“Clearly, I’ve been thinking about when the timing is right – is it this election or the next election,” she said.
“Yesterday I rang around my colleagues on the crossbench, I spoke to the Prime Minister and spoke to the Leader of the Opposition.
“They thanked me for the work I’ve done, they wished Helen well, and they said we're going to have very fierce competition in Indi.
“That really did coalesce for me that the timing is right.”
The Liberal Party has already announced its candidate, Steve Martin.
The Nationals haven't announced a candidate, however Ms McGowan strongly hinted, without explicitly suggesting, that their candidate would be Bridget McKenzie, who has moved her office to Wodonga.
“We're waiting to see what the National Party do, but I hope they bring a high profile woman to the debate,” she said.
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