By Kate Taylor
Geoff Howard, Member for Buninyong, has announced that he will not be contesting the next state election.
With Labor pre-selections opening soon ahead of the 2018 state election, Mr Howard announced last week that he will not be putting his name forward.
“Having had the honour of serving the people of Ballarat East (1999) and Buninyong (2014) in parliament, I believe it’s time to begin a new phase of my life,” Mr Howard wrote in a statement.
“I also believe the timing is right to provide the opportunity for a new face to take on the Buninyong seat. I know there are a number of promising people within Ballarat Labor who could become strong representatives and bring fresh ideas.”
Ballarat East was the most marginal Liberal-held electorate in the state prior to Mr Howard’s election in 1999, but has since been considered a safe Labor seat.
“Few people including me would have believed that I would be here 18 years later and get to enjoy the privilege of choosing my own time to exit public office. I’m pleased that I will leave with Labor’s position here greatly improved from when I was first elected.”
Mr Howard’s announcement means that Moorabool’s two largest seats will emerge from the state election with all-new faces – Member for Melton Don Nardella has already announced that he will not be contesting the next election either.