Marise Payne: Australia’s political power couple exit the stage – as she quits the Senate after Stuart Ayres lost his seat at NSW state election
Marise Payne has confirmed she is retiring from politics after a career spanning 26 years.
The former Foreign Minister has been plagued by rumours she was stepping down for weeks now.
She announced in a statement on Friday morning she would step down on September 30, paving the way for a NSW Senate preselection vote.
Her partner, NSW politician Stuart Ayres, lost his seat in Penrith at the last state election. He previously served as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party under Dominic Perrottet.
In announcing her resignation, she paid particular thanks to Mr Ayres for ‘sharing this path with me for many years now, as I have shared his in state politics’.
‘I thank him for that enduring support and love. Stuart’s strong support made it possible for me to be a much travelled Cabinet minister for seven years.’
Ms Payne said: ‘To have had the privilege to have served as long as I have, and in the process to have become Australia’s longest serving female Senator in history, is something of which I am very proud,’ she said.
‘This Chamber, although far from perfect, is a unique and vital part of the Australian democracy.
‘From my first Senate Committee in the Howard Government, to my final committee roles in this Parliament, I have always known that our work makes a difference.’
Ms Payne said she is not retiring altogether, and ‘looks forward to the next phase of [her] professional life’.
‘I look forward to using the invaluable experience I have gained in this place, around the cabinet table and globally, to continue to make a contribution to our country,’ she added.