Veteran Labor Senator John Faulkner will step down at the next federal election.
Senator Faulkner, elected for NSW in 1993, says he will not re-nominate for preselection for the 2017 election.
“A quarter of a century is a long time, and my current term still has three years to run. To seek a further six-year term would be an indulgence,” he said in a statement on his website on Wednesday.
Senator Faulkner said he had enjoyed the unqualified honour of representing Labor, its members and supporters, as a minister in three Labor governments and as Senate opposition leader for eight years.
In that time, he served under eight Labor leaders, four of them as prime ministers.
“Neville Wran nailed it when he once said that no one of us could ever claim to have given more to the Australian Labor Party than any of us had received from it. That is certainly true in my case,” he said.
Although leaving parliament, he said he planned to maintain the association through Labor’s community forums.
He said his commitment to party reform was undiminished and he would press for changes to NSW party rules at the conference in July to address internal corruption and open closed factional preselection processes.
Senator Faulkner, 60, started out as a teacher and party official before entering politics.
He served as minister for veterans affairs under Paul Keating, and special minister of state and defence minister under Kevin Rudd.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Senator Faulkner had given decades of dedicated service to Labor, its members and the people the party has supported.
“John is a keeper of the Labor flame,” he said in a statement, which also thanked him for the service and guidance he had given the party and Australia.