I AM gobsmacked at the disgracefully gerontophobic claims made by Gary Gray in his disingenuous attempt to explain his early departure from politics (Gray to quit politics, Coastal Times, February 24).
At “only” 57, Gary Gray has a decade before he reaches retirement age. Nevertheless, he has decided to join a conga line of federal politicians who are getting out before pension changes come into effect later this year.
Those who go now can immediately access very generous pensions, whereas, those who stay on will have to wait until official retirement age.
In truth, we do not need younger politicians, as Gary Gray suggests in their 30s and 40s; we need better politicians.
It is not a physically demanding career, such as football or bricklaying.
Politics best suits people with significant life skills and experience – as well as intelligence. We do not need any more wet-behind-the-ears egotists.
Besides, many people in their 30s and 40s have young families, and the Canberra commute takes an exacting toll.
The lifestyle better suits people with no children, or children who have flown the nest.
Federal politics is certainly no place for bigots – be that on the grounds of gender, race or age.
It is mind-boggling that, after nine years in federal politics, Gary Gray is seemingly oblivious to the fact that age discrimination is unlawful.
I wonder what the Age Discrimination Commissioner would have to say about his attitude: good riddance, perhaps.