O’Dwyer steps down from politics

Former minister for revenue and financial services Kelly O’Dwyer has announced she will retire from politics at the next federal election later this year.

Ms O’Dwyer made the announcement on Saturday at a press conference, citing “very personal” reasons.

"The decisive reasons are very personal," Ms O'Dwyer said.

“My two smart and loving children, Olivia and Edward … will reach primary school age during the next parliament.


"If my husband and I want to give ourselves the opportunity, the best opportunity to have a third child, we need to be very realistic.”

Ms O’Dwyer has been in the cabinet since 2015, first as the assistant treasurer from September 2015 to July 2016.

Then she continued as the minister for revenue and financial services from July 2016 to August 2018.

Since August 2018, Ms O’Dwyer has been the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations before her shock announcement over the weekend.

Ms O’Dwyer cited her work in making changes to superannuation and helping establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority among her major achievements.

“Superannuation is now on a more sustainable footing and more Australians have an opportunity to unlock its potential, through reforms such as deductible personal contributions and also catch-up contributions,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“I’m also proud to have taken on vested interests by introducing legislation that better protects the retirement savings of million of Australians – by capping fees, by making sure that those fees are low on low-balance accounts, by banning exit fees on all accounts, improving insurance arrangements and proactively reuniting lost and inactive superannuation accounts with their rightful owners.

“My consumer focus has seen the Australian Financial Complaints Authority be established, world-leading whistleblower protections introduced and our insolvency laws overhauled.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg responded on Twitter saying Ms O’Dwyer “can be very proud of her many achievements in public life”.

“She has been a great colleague and friend, serving the country and the Liberal Party with distinction. I wish Kelly, Jon, Olivia and Edward all the very best,” Mr Frydenberg said.

However, the executive director of the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals, Peter Johnston, was less complimentary, saying he had "difficulty saying anything positive about Ms O’Dwyer’s performance as the minister for financial services".

"Unfortunately she drove two ridiculous pieces of legislation, FASEA and LIF, that has been of no benefit for consumers or the industry in general. We can only hope some of her allies she placed into powerful positions will now also move on," Mr Johnston said.

O’Dwyer steps down from politics
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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