I nearly quit politics for good
CHRIS Trevor has announced he will recontest the federal seat of Flynn, at the same time launching a stinging attack on Labor factional bosses for demonising and demeaning the achievements of former leader Kevin Rudd.
Mr Trevor, who has vowed to stand by Prime Minister Julia Gillard “in thick and thin”, yesterday told a Gladstone press conference he contemplated quitting politics in the wake of Mr Rudd’s first-term demise.
“It is no secret I think the way various factional bosses treated Kevin Rudd was absolutely disgraceful,” he said.
“I also think it’s pretty disgraceful the way they have tried to destroy his character and his achievements since they got rid of him.
“This needed to be said, and I said it.
“I think it will provide comfort to other Caucus members who are less inclined to speak their mind like I do, but I am a person of honesty and integrity and I believe something needs to be said, whether it upsets the party or not.
“… If they don’t like me speaking my mind on certain issues, then they are welcome to get rid of me.”
Mr Trevor said his crisis of political conscience had been tough on wife Colleen and his five children, with many kitchen table discussions over the course of his future in recent weeks.
Ultimately, it was a family decision that he would continue in the job. And a few phonecalls and encouraging words from newly elevated Prime Minister Julia Gillard didn’t hurt either.
“My family knows I have been deeply wounded by this, but they know their dad is a strong person and he can recover,” Mr Trevor said.
“… But it would be wrong of me to deny that I haven’t seriously considered over the past few weeks quitting politics and public life for good.
“Every man or woman has their tipping point. Kevin Rudd’s demise was mine.
“… Once I received an assurance from Julia that she would
continue to keep Flynn on the radar, then I was satisfied that the very reason I went into this job, namely delivering for my community, was valid.
“When Julia… reassured me any difficulties I had with the Flynn community her door would be wide open, then I formed the view I could work with her and continue to be happy in the job where my priority is community.”
Mr Trevor told the press conference he also consulted with Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan to gain confidence in the new administration.
He urged the Gillard government not to ignore Mr Rudd if it is returned to helm the country when voters go to the polls in an election tipped to be only weeks away.
“… (They) would be mad not to use Kevin properly given his vast knowledge of world affairs.
“Should I be judged harshly by the people of Flynn for showing loyalty and compassion to Kevin, then so be it,” Mr Trevor said.
“I have been comforted by the fact senior members of the Labor Party have told me the modern day Labor Party needs people like me to return to Canberra.”
Mr Trevor said he wished his LNP opponent Ken O’Dowd the ‘very best of luck’ in the upcoming election.
But Mr O’Dowd hit back with some less than flattering comments, accusing Mr Trevor of staging a ‘publicity stunt’.
“Whether his disappearance was a case of genuine anguish or a publicity stunt, one thing’s for sure - Chris Trevor abandoned his seat and his constituency during what was perhaps the most extraordinary transition of power this country has ever seen.”
“If they don’t like me speaking my mind on certain issues, then they are welcome to get rid of me.”
Chris Trevor MP