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Sharp retiring to take up new challenges



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JOHN SHARP MP MEDIA RELEASE

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR HUME

PO BOX 700 GOULBURN NSW 2580 TEL: (02) 4822 2277 FAX: (02) 4822 1029

SHARP RETIRING TO TAKE UP NEW CHALLENGES

After 14 years in Federal Parliament, Federal Member for Hume John Sharp will retire from political life at the upcoming election.

Mr Sharp said he came to this decision so he could spend more time with his young family and to seek new career challenges.

“I came into office at the relatively young age o f 29 with a burning desire to make a difference. After 14 years I feel it is now time to move on to new challenges and am fortunate to have received some exciting offers from the private sector which I intend to pursue,” he said.

“Families o f politicians, particularly senior ones, inevitably sacrifice the most in public life. I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, particularly my children aged eight, five and two.”

Mr Sharp began his political career as a councillor on the Young Shire Council where he served for three years before contesting the NSW State seat of Burrinjuck as the National Party candidate.

In 1984 he successfully contested the seat of Gilmore for the National Party and subsequently won the seat in 1987 and 1990.

He was re-elected in 1993 following the electoral redistribution for the seat of Hume. In 1996 he significantly increased the National Party’s hold on the Hume electorate to a margin o f 11.8%.

Mr Sharp served more than ten years on the Coalition’s front bench. Eight and a half o f these years in the transport portfolio, the longest period in a portfolio anyone can recall.

Mr Sharp said he was proud to have been a member o f the Howard/Fischer Cabinet.

“This Government has implemented lasting reforms that have delivered real benefits to Australians that have protected Australian’s from the economic perils being experienced by others in our region.”

He also sincerely thanked the residents o f the Hume electorate for their support over many years and said he will continue to have an association with the district through his family.

Mr Sharp said he was confident the National Party would retain Hume at the upcoming election.

Ends.... HI 00/98 4/6/98

Contact: Vanessa Barden Ph: (02) 6277 2255

JOHN SHARP’S ACHIEVEMENTS AS MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

RAILWAY

Establishment of One Rail System with a single access regime - starts 1 July 1998

Successful privatisation o f AN with the introduction o f three new private sector operators on rail system.

Sydney-Canberra Very Fast Train

Alice Springs-Darwin railway

Started the Privatisation o f National Rail Corporation

AVIATION

While in Opposition Mr Sharp raised concerns about the CAA following the Monarch crash and before the Seaview crash. These actions led to the end o f the CAA, its board o f directors and senior management, resulting in a major reform of aviation safety.

Initiated a complete rewriting o f aviation safety regulations.

Appointed board members to CASA with relevant aviation expertise.

Privatisation o f airports, raising $4 billion which were used to pay off part o f the Federal Government’s debt, lowering charges and increasing competition.

Introduced slot landing system at Sydney's Mascot Airport. This will eliminate congestion. Came into force at the end o f March 1998, and will save the airlines tens of millions o f dollars.

Reopened Sydney’s East-West runway

Establishment o f Long Term Operating Plan at Sydney airport by implementing Coalition policy o f sharing the noise

Developed operation plan for Sydney Airports Olympic role

Introduced separate streaming of Australian Passport holders of International Airports

Commenced process for construction of a second airport for Sydney

Liberalised Australia's International Air Service Agreements

New equitable charging regime for the aviation industry for Air Services Australia’s services.

ROADS

Established Roads o f National Importance, which lead to $3.1 billion reconstruction o f Pacific Highway.

Introduction of the Black Spots Program

Initiated Mass limits increase for heavy vehicles

Introduced greater uniformity of road transport rules throughout Australia

Established advisory boards for Federal Office of Road Safety, and the Bureau o f Transport and Communications Economics

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Establishment of Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund o f $250m

National Heritage Trust established putting $1.25 billion into regional Australia.

MARITIME

Ended Trans Tasman Accord which was the union to union ban on international ships carrying goods between Australia and New Zealand

Turned ANL Shipping into a profitable business ready for privatisation with a positive value and numerous interested buyers.

Introduced Bass Strait Passenger/Vehicle Equalisation Scheme

Establish reform o f Australia's Maritime Industry through Shipping Reform Group

Establishment of Aussar - new research and rescue centre bringing together all of our search and rescue operations into the one new organisation

INTERNATIONAL

APEC Harmonisation of standards for seamless logistics movement throughout APEC economies

GENERAL

Established the National Transport Council