Nova Peris To Leave Politics

The move will affect the ALP's federal election campaign.

24/05/2016 11:16 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
Fairfax: Alex Ellinghausen
Labor Senator Nova Peris.

Labor Senator and former Olympian Nova Peris will be leaving politics amid speculation she is being considered for a top Indigenous role in the AFL.

Peris, who entered politics in 2013 as a "captain's pick" of then-PM Julia Gillard, released a statement on Tuesday morning announcing she will not re-contest her Senate seat at the federal election, but will "continue to fight racism and prejudice".

"It is my intention that I will serve out my term and fully support and endorse my replacement for the number one position on the Labor Senate ticket, whoever that might be," the statement said.

"I had never envisaged myself becoming a career politician. I'm now moving on and personally looking forward to the next chapter and journey of my life.

"I will not be making any further comments on my decision to not re-contest."

As the news emerges three weeks into the eight-week election campaign, questions now remain over who will take her candidacy for the Northern Territory Senate position.

Bill Shorten said suggestions he was involved in Peris' departure were "rubbish" and the Labor party will decide on a candidate "in the coming days".

On Monday night news circulated Peris was a frontrunner for a top AFL job after the departure of Jason Mifsud as the AFL's Head of Diversity in February.

The Labor senator went to ground after news circulated, but on Tuesday morning Labor leader Bill Shorten didn't deny Peris' departure from politics.

"Nova Peris is a very strong representative for the Territory and indeed all Indigenous Australians," Shorten said.

"She's made history on the track and in the Parliament. I'm sure that Nova Peris will continue to make a contribution, be it inside the Parliament or outside of it."

Peris became the first Indigenous woman to become a federal parliamentarian in 2013. Peris was handpicked by Gillard to run on Labor's senate ticket in the 2013 election after Trish Crossin departure from the senate.

In 2014, Peris denied wrongdoing in the senate after sexual email exchanges emerged between Peris and Olympic medallist Ato Boldon from her time as Athletics Australia ambassador. The emails revealed Peris' attempts to fly Boldon to Australia using taxpayers' money for an athletics program.

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