NSW Government MPs have been quick to comment on the resignation of Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis, who has blamed the actions of a state Liberal colleague for her decision.
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Mrs Sudmalis said her departure from politics was because of the “NSW State Division and the actions of a state liberal colleague”.
One can only speculate the state member she is referring to is Kiama MP Gareth Ward, with whom she has a long standing conflict with.
However, member for South Coast Shelley Hancock acknowledged the service of Mrs Sudmalis, and thanked her for her contribution.
“Ann has been a strong advocate on behalf of our region. Thanks to her efforts, the NSW Government secured a funding agreement with the Commonwealth Government, allowing us to deliver the important Nowra Bridge project. This will form part of her legacy to our community,” Mrs Hancock said.
“I will continue to work with Ann and all members of the community, as I have done tirelessly since my election as the member for South Coast to deliver for our region.”
Meanwhile, Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park said Mr Ward should “hang his head in shame”. In a move not common, the Labor party member commended Mrs Sudmalis for “exposing” Mr Ward’s actions.
“Gareth Ward should hang his head in shame today for the role he has played in ensuring another female Liberal MP is quitting Parliament,” Mr Park said.
“It took guts for Ann Sudmalis to expose his actions.
“I doubt the people of Kiama would appreciate how much time he is spending undermining members of Parliament rather than co-operating with them in order to help his electorate – and doing so at the taxpayers’ expense.”
Mr Park urged Mr Ward to apologise to Mrs Sudmalis.
“What today’s events show us is how deeply divided the Liberals are and how little the people of the Illawarra and the South Coast can rely upon them to stand up for them,” he said.
“The Liberals are tearing themselves apart and we the public are paying the price.”
Mrs Sudmalis was first elected to federal parliament in 2013 and is one of only 20 female Coalition MPs.