BASS Labor MHR Jodie Campbell is quitting politics. The 37-year-old told her staff last night that she won't recontest the marginal seat at next year's federal election.
Ms Campbell has denied she'll be a "lame duck" MP, saying she wanted to be open with voters but not waste taxpayers' money by forcing a byelection if she walked away now.
She said she told Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about a month ago that she wanted to devote more time to her two daughters.
Ms Campbell maintained the right to not talk about her personal life, in particular her relationship with the man she describes as her former partner, Roland Kurt Small.
Ms Campbell is adamant that she was not pushed by the Labor Party hierachy after a series of personal life dramas, including an alleged assault by her former de facto Roland Small in August.
The former Launceston deputy mayor has no future career plans but has ruled out a return to politics.
Ms Campbell told her two daughters yesterday morning by phone from Canberra that she would not be going away again after next year's federal election.
They (Sommer, 7, and Isabella, 6) were very excited, she said.
Mr Small appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court today but again didn't enter a plea to one charge of assaulting the MP.
Mr Small, 36, is accused of punching Ms Campbell in the left eye, twisting her fingers and hitting her in the stomach at her Mowbray home on August 24.
"What will happen in court, I'll let that destiny play out," Ms Campbell said yesterday. It's in the hands of the court.
"It's a police matter. That will take on its own journey."
She said the announcement that she was quitting politics was not timed to coincide with the court appearance or because she was spotted with Mr Small on Monday despite the pair being the subject of a police family violence order.
"It has nothing to do with it whatsoever," she said. "This has been on my mind for quite a few months."
Ms Campbell seemed excited herself as she talked about her decision not to recontest the federal seat she has held for just two years.
"Something I've realised over the last few months is that maybe more so than ever they need their mum and I want to be there for them. So my decision at the end of the day is based on those two beautiful girls," she said.
Ms Campbell never intended to be a one-term MP.
"My intention at the time was that I would be there for the long term but things change in life and I am certain that the people of Bass, the people I doorknock and the people I talk with will certainly understand that," she explained.
Ms Campbell denies she was pushed out of the job by the Labor party hierarchy or colleagues, saying she had their full support when she told Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of her decision about four weeks ago.
And she does not believe quitting now and forcing a by-election would be better than waiting until the election to vacate the seat. It would be a waste of taxpayers money, she said.
The election could be March, it could be October.
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