Retirement of Labor MP Jill Hall could solve electoral headache for party

Veteran Federal Labor MP Jill Hall has announced she will not recontest the next election.

Ms Hall, who has represented her seat of Shortland in the Hunter region of New South Wales since 1998, said after 18 years in federal politics it was "time to move on".

"I made the decision after the last election that this would be my last term. It's always tempting to put your name forward again, but I knew it was the right time," she said.

Her departure could resolve an electoral headache for the ALP in the area.

The recent electoral redistribution effectively abolished the nearby seat held by Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon.

Mr Fitzgibbon could run in the new seat of Hunter, which covers many of the suburbs currently in the seat of Charlton.

Ms Hall's departure means that the current member for Charlton, Pat Conroy, could now contest Shortland, which remains a safe Labor seat.

This is my decision, Hall says

Ms Hall is adamant that she was not pushed out of politics.

"Not one person had asked me not to run again," she said.

"I actually had a phone call from Bill Shorten and he said to me whatever decision you make I'll support you ... This is my decision, and my decision alone."

And she has emphasised that it would be up to local ALP members to decide who replaced her.

"I'm sure that whoever is preselected and it will be a rank-and-file preselection, which is something I'm really pleased about — that whoever is preselected will be an outstanding member of Parliament," Ms Hall said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten praised her contribution to public life.

"Jill Hall has been a formidable champion for the rights of Australians with disability as well as the great Labor idea of equality of opportunity, in everything from education to healthcare," Mr Shorten said.

Source: ABC News

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