After 18-and-a-half years representing the electorates of both Burrinjuck and Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson has made what she has described as the very difficult decision to retire from State Parliament.
Ms Hodgkinson said it has been an absolute privilege to have served constituents from right across Southern NSW in the NSW Legislative Assembly, after several electoral boundary redistributions; from the Wingecarribee, Goulburn, Boorowa and Crookwell, through to Gundagai, Tumut and Batlow, to Narrandera, West Wyalong, Temora, Grenfell, Young, Harden and Cowra, and everywhere in between including her original hometown of Yass.
During her career in State Parliament, she served four years in the NSW Cabinet as the Minister for Small Business, and as the first female Minister for Primary Industries (including Lands and Water), undertaking difficult but significant reforms in these portfolios.
She also served time in Government as Assistant Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Parliamentary Secretary for Southern NSW and Committee Chairman, and eight years in the Shadow Cabinet.
Ms Hodgkinson said she will be forever grateful for the support afforded to her by her constituents and grass-roots members of The Nationals since first running for office in 1996.
She won the seat of Burrinjuck in 1999 - a seat that had never previously been held by The Nationals, and did so again in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and the newly formed seat of Cootamundra at the 2015 state election with around a 20 per cent majority.
She thanked her husband Jack for his support throughout nearly two decades of public life – and her children, Georgia and Hamilton, who have only ever known her as an “MP Mum”.
In a statement released on Monday after Ms Hodgkinson said her decision is not one based on any single electorate issue, simply it is a “length of service” decision:.
“It’s time to move on to something new,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
She said she now looks forward to spending more time with her family and engaging in opportunities that may arise within the corporate sector.
Ms Hodgkinson was in Cowra recently with Deputy Premier John Barilaro for a series of funding announcements and official openings.
She visited Chernco Engineering, Cowra’s Prisoner of War Camp, the Cowra netball courts and the showground pavilion during a whirlwind visit.
She opened the Murringo mobile phone tower last Monday.