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Family comes first for Powell

Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell has decided to retire from her parliamentary career at this year's Victorian government election.

JARROD WHITTAKER February 10, 2014 4:57am

Jeanette Powell is retiring to spend more time with her family.


Jeanette Powell decided to call time on her parliamentary career at Christmas.

Throughout the years, retiring from politics for family reasons has become something of a euphemism.

But in the case of Mrs Powell, 65, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

‘‘About Christmas all my family were home,’’ she said.

‘‘My son and daughter-in-law, and one of my grandsons live in Darwin, so I don’t get to see them often.’’

Mrs Powell said she realised at Christmas one of her grandsons was eight years old and she didn’t get to see him often.

‘‘My youngest grandson now is about nine months old and I don’t want him to be six or seven and I realise I haven’t seen much of him,’’ she said.

‘‘So it’s time for me now to be there for my family.’’

Speculation had been rife Mrs Powell would retire following reports several Nationals members would stand aside at November’s state election.

She has held the State Seat of Shepparton since 2002.

Previously, she had been a member of the upper house representing North Eastern Province since March 1996.

Her decision to retire was announced to the National Party faithful at a dinner in Shepparton on Friday night.

Mrs Powell said it was right to tell them first.

‘‘They’re the ones over the last 18 years who have been fundraisers, handing out how-to-vote cards,’’ she said.

‘‘I just think the preselection opens next Friday, so I thought this isn’t too soon to tell people.’’

 

Mrs Powell has lived in the Goulburn Valley for more than 50 years, settling here after her family arrived from the United Kingdom in 1958.

From 1990 to 1994 she was a councillor with the old Shire of Shepparton — serving as Shire President in 1993 and 1994.

Following the Kennett Government’s amalgamation of local councils she served as a commissioner at the Shire of Campaspe from 1994 to 1996.

Her decision follows Benalla MP Bill Sykes’ announcement last month he would not stand at the November election.

 

Mrs Powell said the decisions were not linked.

‘‘For me I think, you’ve got to know when your time is up,’’ she said.

‘‘I want to be able to retire when I’m still healthy and I’ve still got a lot more to give so I can still play a role in my community.’’

After retiring, Mrs Powell said she would spend more time with her family and do volunteer work.

She offered a few words of advice to her successor.

‘‘Anybody that wins this seat has to be a person that can get on with all different types of people,’’ Mrs Powell said.

‘‘That’s one of the important things — they need to be a people person.

‘‘It’s not just about representing your community in parliament, it’s about representing your community so they can come in and talk to you.’’

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