Prior to the last election I informed both the Leader and President of the Liberal Party that the 2013 campaign would, in all probability, be my last as Federal Director. I also informed the Hon Richard Alston of this when he became Federal President last year.
With the recent changes in the Parliamentary leadership and the consequent need to review our planning for the next campaign, I believe now is an appropriate time for the Party to appoint a new Federal Director to lead the organisation into the next campaign.
Accordingly, I have today informed the Federal Executive of the Liberal Party of my intention to resign as Federal Director by early next year. This will allow time for the Party to appoint a new Director and an appropriate period for a handover to my successor on the detailed planning which has been undertaken for the next Federal election campaign.
I have been privileged to be Campaign Director for the Coalition for four Federal elections - twice the number anyone (Liberal or Labor, State or Federal) for over thirty years. My time as Federal Director has coincided with one of the most remarkable periods in Australian history and I am particularly proud of the strength of our primary vote over those elections - the result of the careful application of a considered strategy.
I wish to record my gratitude to the Presidents of the Party with whom I have served. Each has been unwaveringly supportive and a frequent source of good counsel.
I have been privileged to work very closely with four leaders of the Party - John Howard, Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. Each has contributed much to our Party and our country and I am grateful for their support and friendship.
As leader of the professional wing of the Party I have been fortunate to work with the most skilled group of campaigners in Australia. I acknowledge those who served as my Deputy Directors, particularly Julian Sheezel, and as State Directors in my twelve years as Federal Director. I also wish to record my thanks to Tony Nutt, John Burston, Mark Textor, Mark Pearson, John Griffin and Darcy Tronson and all the staff at the Federal Secretariat with whom I have worked so closely.
As a strong Coalitionist I have valued my relationship with the National Party and the Directors with whom I have served. I particularly thank Scott Mitchell for his support in recent years.
I am deeply grateful for the incredible support I have had from my family and friends, particularly my wife Peta, during my years in the role. It would have been impossible to serve for so long without it.
Finally, I wish to thank the branch members of the Liberal Party around Australia. You are the source of the strength of the Party. I joined the Party because of my interest in national security, small business and family policy. As I return to the business sector I look forward to again serving with you as a grass roots member of the Party.