Statement from Sharon Bird MP

HON SHARON BIRD MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR CUNNINGHAM

I announce today that I have made the decision not to recontest the 2022 Federal election and will retire as Federal Member for Cunningham after nearly 18 years of service.

It has been an amazing honour and privilege to represent the Wollongong community as the Member for Cunningham since 2004. It was an absolute privilege to have been a Parliamentary Secretary and a Minister in a Federal Labor Government - the first female Illawarra Labor representative to achieve this honour. 

The fact that my local community has supported me at six elections to continue to work on their behalf is very humbling and makes me very proud – to have had the trust of the community is an enormous privilege and I sincerely thank my constituents for this.

This has not been an easy decision to reach.  However, I am now at a stage of my life where I need to focus more fully on the people I love in my family, who have given years of total support to me, and lived with my regular absences knowing how important my work has been to our community. I want to now repay that and give them much more of my time.

There are so many groups and individuals across our community that I want to acknowledge. They have worked with me in the interest of our community and I will take the time to extend my thanks to each of them personally.  

We are so well served by many of our peak bodies across union, business and community sectors and it has been an honour to partner with them in campaigns for our local area over nearly two decades.

The local Illawarra Labor team at all levels of Government are wonderful people who it has been a privilege to work with over the years.

I know that local Labor party members will choose a local person with deep commitment to our community and a passion for standing up and advocating for people in need.

I will, of course, continue to work each and every day until the next election for our community.

I also look forward to campaigning for the local Labor candidate to join an Albanese Labor Government.  

Anthony Albanese and the entire Labor team, front bench and backbench, are an amazing group of talented and dedicated people who I will miss working with as they shape the policies that will deliver a fairer and more prosperous future for all Australians. I have every confidence this will lead to their success at the next election.