THE speculation swirling around Member for Flynn Chris Trevor’s future in politics was put to an end yesterday, with Mr Trevor announcing he will contest the upcoming election.
However the Opposition has hit out at Mr Trevor’s three-week delay in putting the matter to rest.
Rumours started within 24 hours of Kevin Rudd standing down as leader of the Australian Labor Party and Prime Minister.
Mr Trevor admitted he was going to quit politics and retire from the public life up until a week ago, but an extensive phone call with new Prime Minister Julia Gillard changed his mind.
“I’ve never declared to any media outlet that I wouldn’t contest the seat,” he said.
“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. I haven’t spoken to Kevin since the day I walked to the gallows with him in Canberra.
“In the past few months I nearly killed myself trying to get home in the wee hours of the morning to the warmth of my family after attending to electorate business in the west.”
Mr Trevor said he hit a number of kangaroos and almost rolled his 4WD.
“There are other recent events associated with politics that have deeply distressed me,” he said.
Mr Trevor’s wife, Colleen, said the family was behind him, no matter what he decided to do.
“It’s been a trying time for us all,” she said.
“We always worry. We sit up till three in the morning and wait for him to come home.”
LNP-endorsed candidate for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said almost three weeks ago, the elected Member for Flynn walked off the paddock and had been sitting on the sidelines ever since.
“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 even seen,” Mr O’Dowd said.
“This is not what people want, need or expect from their elected representative.
“I’ve looked at footage from Chris Trevor’s media conference and all I saw was a disillusioned and disheartened man, not someone bristling with enthusiasm for the job. Those who can’t cop the rough and tumble of politics certainly don’t have the capacity to really get in and fight for what their electorate needs.
“Chris Trevor threw his lot in with Kevin Rudd and publicly supported the mining tax. Now that his party has done a backflip on it, he has been left high and dry.
“His press statement is significant because he bags his own party, accuses colleagues of leaking his private conversations and is openly critical of Labor’s factional leaders.”
“It is no secret that I think the way various factional bosses (treatment of) former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was absolutely disgraceful,” Mr Trevor said.
“Kevin Rudd was voted in by the people and factional bosses didn’t seem to like that.
“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. Many people in my electorate of Flynn have told me they are pretty disgusted by what has happened.”
Mr O’Dowd said while he appreciated Mr Trevor’s personal anguish, Flynn needed someone who will get in and fight for its families, its industries and its future.
“That’s what I’ve signed up to do,” he said.
Mr Trevor said while most people go into politics to make a difference and for a career, he went into politics, not for the career, but for the community.
“For me it has always been about community and ideology I believe in, including getting rid of WorkChoices,” he said.
“It will remain so.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Chris Trevor was a great member for Flynn.
“He is someone who is very much focused on delivering for his community,” the Prime Minister said.
“He represents in the Parliament an area of Australia that is undergoing great change and he wants to make sure that the community gets the assistance it needs to manage its way through those changes.”
“I have received assurance from both of them (Prime Minister Julia Gillard and deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan) that they will try and help me keep pace with the massive growth that is expected in Flynn over the next 10 years and beyond,” Mr Trevor said.