Justine Elliot shocked and saddened by Rudd resignation
THE resignation from parliament of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd took the Member for Richmond Justine Elliot by surprise.
"I was not expecting it. I don't think many people knew," Mrs Elliot said.
Her initial reaction was one of shock and sadness. But she would not be drawn on why it was a sad occasion.
"What is important is to look at his legacy," she said.
"It's the end of an era.
"In political life you have highs and lows - he experienced both of these."
She said it was important to acknowledge his two most outstanding achievements: the management of the Australian economy during the Global Financial Crisis and the apology to the stolen generation.
Mrs Elliot said Mr Rudd was a "friend to the north coast".
"He has visited the area many, many times," she said.
"People had real affection for Kevin."
"He could be really funny."
Mr Rudd announced he would be retiring from politics due to family reasons in an emotional last speech in Parliament yesterday.
In the 2007 election Mr Rudd became Prime Minister after a landslide election, with a 23-seat swing in Labor's favour. In 2010 he was ousted as PM, regaining the role for three months before this year's federal election.
He will retire from politics tomorrow.
- How will you remember Kevin Rudd? Leave your comments below.