In 2019, on election night, I announced that I would not recontest the next federal election, as I felt the time was right to pursue other interests outside politics.
However, that decision was made well before the global COVID-19 pandemic was even thought of, or before it reached our shores.
Our region was one of the first to be severely impacted by the pandemic and we will be one of the last to recover.
I was recently approached by several tourism, businesses and community leaders across the region urging me to reconsider my retirement plans.
Their argument was they needed my experience, connections and credibility as a senior government member, as well as the experience of my wonderful staff, to maximise opportunities for the region as we begin the recovery phase.
They are firmly of the view this is certainly not the time for change.
Therefore, after careful consideration I have decided to recontest the next federal election which is due to be held before May 2022.
It is certainly not a decision I made lightly.
There were many sleepless nights and heartfelt discussions with my beautiful wife Yolonde and my family before I finally came to this decision.
Sadly, as I said earlier, our community will continue to face many challenges over the next few years as we begin our recovery from the global pandemic.
It will be a tough road but one we will navigate together.
I feel it is incumbent on me during these uncertain times to continue to support our community and its residents for as long as it takes along this road.
My experience will ensure our community continues to have strong, effective and stable leadership during these unprecedented times.