Today I’m standing down as the leader of the Labor Party in NSW.
I do this with a very heavy heart.
I do this even though I have the support of my caucus and our wonderful Party members.
No one has asked me to stand aside – in fact, colleagues have asked me to stay.
If a ballot were held today I can tell you I would win it.
I have always tried to build consensus within our Party, but it is clear that although I was elected Leader in a democratic ballot, there are those within our Party who have never accepted the outcome of that process.
For me, leadership must always be about the institution and how you respond to its successes and its difficulties.
Leadership is about knowing when you step up and when you step down.
Over the last 2 years I believe I have worked to reshape Labor’s message in preparation for 2023.
We have had bumps and bruises along the way – but I want my successor to continue this reform – to ensure we continue to speak and have relevance to the broader population.
This is the true Labor way – a Party of the mainstream that speaks up for and defends the interests of everyday citizens.
But success requires patience, forgiveness, and constant dialogue with the community, as well as ourselves.
I apologise to those who wished I had stayed, but this is the only way I know I can unite our Party.
I have spent the last six days reflecting on how to achieve unity and I have decided this offers the Party the best opportunity to heal and move forward.
There has to be a future where there is no destabilising of the Party’s leader from within.
While the leadership of the Labor Party may move to a ballot, there must an acknowledgment that at the end of the process, when the new leader is determined, we unite as a Party.
This time, we must all accept the outcome, support the new Leader and work to win Government in 2023 because NSW deserves no less.
I thank my incredible staff who have supported and encouraged me – who I am indebted to.
I am also very much looking forward to spending more time with my husband.
He told me this morning that he only believes in four things – Labor, the Church, Beethoven and me.
And I am very much looking forward to spending some more time in my electorate of Strathfield and continuing to proudly serve my community.