Smith to quit politics

Julia Gillard, Stephen Smith, Nicola Roxon, Tony Burke 1 STEPHEN SMITH will not re-contest the seat of Perth and lawyer Tim Hammond is emerging as a likely replacement.
Mr Hammond, a Mount Lawley local, is a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers.
We put it to him that he was next in line of succession after Mr Smith.
“I don’t know about next in line but I’m certainly giving it a lot of thought,” Mr Hammond said.
“It’s something I’m now discussing with my family and friends and trying to come to a decision about as quickly as possible.
“It’s only minutes old, the news [that Mr Smith isn’t recontesting], so I’m certainly thinking long and hard and getting advice on it.
“It’s a massive decision.”
Formerly a partner at Slater & Gordon Lawyers, Mr Hammond has worked in state and federal workers compensation cases, medical negligence, and has represented asbestos victims.
In 2010 he contested the marginal seat of Swan against Liberal incumbent Steve Irons, who won with 52.5 per cent of the two party preferred vote.
The ABC reported Mr Smith as telling parliament that the events of the past two days gave him the “clarity of thought” to make the decision.
“This is something that I cannot in all good conscience say to the people of Perth that I can continue to do win lose or draw at the next election for another three years.
“20 years I can do, 23 years I can’t.”
by DAVID BELL

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