Earlier today I indicated to the Federal President, Richard Alston, that, having served the Liberal Party for more than 35 years, and turning 59 this year, the Federal Executive should appoint a new Director to take the Party forward to the next election due in two years' time.
Having in the past six years done three general elections (Victoria 2010, NSW 2015, Federal 2016) as Campaign Director, worked on the 2013 Federal Election for Brian Loughnane, run several important Federal and State by-elections, worked for the Victorian Coalition Government, done two transitions for Prime Ministers Turnbull and Abbott, and managed the very difficult ICAC matter in NSW in 2014/15 before running Mike Baird's campaign, it is time.
A change now will give the Federal Executive time to select a new Director who can work with the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Party and the organisation to prepare for the next election.
Federal Executive will meet later this week and will receive the report from Andrew Robb and his Committee on the 2016 election. Invariably a close result has been the subject of criticism. I am sure that Andrew Robb's committee will have a number of important recommendations. This is as it should be because all parties must continually refine and improve their activities to remain competitive in a robust democratic system like Australia's.
It has been a great privilege to work for the Liberal Party over so many years and with literally thousands of members, supporters and office bearers who give so much to the organisation because they believe in its values and philosophy.
I particularly want to thank the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull his wife Lucy and their family. Lucy Turnbull is a successful business woman and community leader in her own right. Malcolm Turnbull came into public life for all the right reasons and he and his colleagues are providing strong leadership for Australia during a challenging period. The Prime Minister is supported by the excellent senior staff of his office such as Drew Clarke and Sally Cray.
I also thank the Hon. Tony Abbott MP for the privilege of working for him during the initial months of his government and over many years before that particularly when he was a Senior Minister in the Howard Government. I also want to recognise Tony Abbott's personal staff with whom I also worked closely.
The decade when I was especially privileged to work for one of the greatest Australian Prime Ministers, the Hon. John Howard OM AC, was a remarkable opportunity and I thank him, Janette Howard and their family and all my colleagues in the Howard office particularly Arthur Sinodinos.
John Howard, Peter Costello and the Liberal and National team did great things for Australia and are justly remembered for their outstanding work.
I also want to thank former Premiers Mike Baird, Ted Baillieu and Dean Brown all of whom I had the privilege of serving as State Director and their private office team and Parliamentary colleagues.
I also want to thank Deputy Leader Julie Bishop, Senate Leader George Brandis and Deputy Leader Mathias Cormann and all their Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues together with the Federal President Richard Alston, Hon. Federal Treasurer Andrew Burnes and their colleagues on the Federal Executive and the professional staff of the party throughout Australia, most particularly the State Directors and the staff of the Federal Secretariat in Canberra especially the Deputy Federal Director John Burston and the Assistant Federal Director Stuart Smith, and International Secretary Bruce Edwards.
I have been lucky enough to also work with some other outstanding political professionals including senior organisational officials like Brian Loughnane, Lynton Crosby and Andrew Robb and with the highly talented team of Crosby Textor particularly Mark Textor, who brings extraordinary ability to research and strategy on the Party's behalf, and with senior Nationals staff such as Scott Mitchell, Ben Hindmarsh and Peter Langhorne and with great organisational leaders and Federal Presidents Tony Staley, Shane Stone, Alan Stockdale, and Chris McDiven and at a State level Presidents like David Kemp and Chris Downy as well as many others throughout the Party.
I have also had the privilege of working with many Federal and State Parliamentary staff in the Offices of Prime Ministers, Premiers and Ministers and working to support other Parliamentarians.
Political and organisational staff work incredibly hard because they believe in what they are doing and the good they can do for the community.