It is my belief that the most important contribution I can make to the Morrison government, and to serve the people of New South Wales who supported me so strongly, is to continue to engage on national security and sovereignty issues in the Senate.
The Covid-19 crisis has graphically demonstrated what those of us who have been advocating for a national security strategy in Australia have been speaking about for years: the absence of a strategy exposes us to unacceptable risk.
I thank colleagues and supporters who have suggested to me that I may be the right person to put myself forward to represent the people and communities of Eden-Monaro, to fight for their views in recovering from both bushfire and Covid-19, and to represent their interests in Canberra.
Because of media reports, I do wish to clarify that no one has tried to force me to not nominate, nor was I ever intimidated by the prospect of competing in a preselection or in a campaign. We now have a range of good Liberal candidates for Eden-Monaro who will be subject to the democratic process of preselection. This will be the first formal preselection conducted through a plebiscite under democratic reform rules in NSW, something which I and many others fought for over many years.
My decision was also strongly influenced by the fact that I must have surgery on a condition I have been putting off for the last year because of politics. I cannot put surgery off any longer and I will enter hospital tomorrow and expect a full recovery.
The Morrison government has led us brilliantly through Covid-19 crisis, and as a proud resident of Eden- Monaro, I shall join my fellow Liberals in campaigning fiercely for our endorsed candidate to join the prime minister’s team as he guides Australia back to a secure, safe and prosperous post-Covid-19 existence.