Former NSW tourism minister George Souris has confirmed he will not recontest his Upper Hunter seat at the 2015 state election.
The Nationals MP would’ve clocked up 27 years in state parliament when he retires in March.
After holding a cabinet position for 23 years, the 65-year-old wasn’t allocated a position on the front bench as a minister when Premier Mike Baird conducted a reshuffle in April.
“I was in the ministry and I was dropped from the ministry. I don’t want to sit on the back bench with the tag ‘was dumped’,” Souris told the SMH of his reasons for leaving politics.
“I was removed not for stuffing something up, but removed for generational change.”
But he explained it wasn’t Baird who dumped him from cabinet, rather, he said it was the Nationals leader and deputy premier Andrew Stoner.
Commenting on Souris’ upcoming departure, Stoner said Souris had made an “invaluable” contribution to public life.
“For the past 27 years George Souris has been a passionate advocate for regional NSW and his local community,” he said.
“George has had an incredibly successful and diverse career in politics, serving with distinction in portfolios as diverse as the arts, gaming, racing and finance, to name a few.”
Acting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked Souris for is “enormous” contribution to NSW politics.
“George is a highly respected member of the NSW Parliament and spent the majority of his parliamentary career on the frontbench – a remarkable achievement,” she said.
“George is a dedicated local member and advocate for the Hunter region, where I have no doubt his legacy will be felt for many years to come.”
Souris said he was interested in a business career after he finished up his post in March.
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