Former Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016.
Billson informed his parliamentary colleagues of his decision to retire on Tuesday, stating “After two decades in public life, my family and I have reflected on circumstances following the change of leadership and decided it is the right time to ‘hang up the campaign R.M. Williams'”.
Billson has been the Federal Member for Dunkley for 20 years, 12 of which he spent as a Coalition front-bencher. Billson was appointed to Shadow Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs after the 2010 election, and became Minster for Small Business when the Coalition won the 2013 election. The Minister was popular with the small business community and his removal was lamented by the likes of COSBOA CEO, Peter Strong.
The cabinet reshuffle in the wake of leadership change, and his subsequent demotion to back-bencher, were a key factor in his decision to retire at the next election.
“I am committed to doing all I can to support the Turnbull Government and to ensuring the talented new Ministerial team has maximum opportunity for ‘clear air’ and a sure-footed start. Doing this means curtailing my disposition to seek to lead, strongly advocate and implement policy initiatives and reform ideas,” Billson said.
“It is my intention to see out this term and fully dedicate myself to the needs, goals and ambitions of the Dunkley community. I will be working to support the success of the Turnbull Government as the best prospect for our community and building prosperity, economic resilience and personal security.
“I am profoundly grateful and full of respect for the Dunkley community which has placed its trust, hopes, confidence and aspirations in me.
“I have loved these days and make public this decision with no regret, remorse or bitterness.”