Deputy Opposition Leader to retire from seat of Mackay
IT'S been a good 20 years for Tim Mulherin, but last night the Member for Mackay announced his retirement.
"My three boys (Declan, Liam and Rory) have not known anything else than me in politics," a clearly emotional Mr Mulherin said.
"My family needs me and my wife, Erin, and my boys want to see me."
Mr Mulherin said the passing of his father, Leo Mulherin, on December 4 and recent health issues helped cement the decision to call it a day.
"I need to devote time to my mother (Helen). Mum's 78 and I need to be there for her."
Citing Bluewater Quay, the MECC, Showgrounds redevelopment and courthouse expansion, Mr Mulherin leaves a strong legacy - something he attributes to the support of the Mackay community.
"I had to think long and hard about this ... the people of Mackay have been very good to me. I want to thank the people of Mackay, Erin, Mum and Dad and mother-in-law Rose for all their support.
"The timing was taken out of my control (with the election called early).
"I have enjoyed serving the people of Mackay, it's been an honour and privilege and collectively, working with local government, industry and community groups and the business sector, we have been able to achieve a lot."
It's something Opposition Leader and state Labor Party head Anastasia Palaszczuk attested to in a tribute to Mr Mulherin last night.
"Tim has been my right hand man in rebuilding the party and focusing on policy development," she said.
"He is one of those rare people in this world who is a real gentleman and a man I can call a true friend.
"It is very sad, but being at his father's funeral last year and seeing how difficult it was for his mother, for him and the family, I completely understand why he has made the decision.
"He could have done anything with his life, but he chose to serve people. Now though, he has to put his family - and his health - first."
Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Mulherin would remain on as Deputy Leader of the party until the election.
"He started this journey with me and has been there with me all the way, so we will see it through together."
She said an announcement on a replacement Labor candidate for Mackay was pending.
So, what's on the cards now for a man who has spent the past 20 years at an electorate's beck and call?
"I'm going to start enjoying some of the niceties of life," Mr Mulherin said.
"I'm going to be there for my boys and for Erin.
"Be there for Mum.
"I'll walk the dog. and just enjoy family life."