The Wellbeing & Support Sub Comm. is chaired by Andrea Coote and over the last couple of years we have contacted over 30 MPs who walked down the steps of Parliament following the 2018 elections, about 3/4 of these were defeated MPs.
Before starting this process we receive training from Parliament House staff about the appropriate way of going about contacting these MPs. We discussed their transition back to public life and explained what assistance was available to support them from Parliament House.
Most MPs who had retired were on the Defined Benefit superannuation scheme and had planned their retirement. Other MPs were on the New Super Scheme and were thankful for the redundancy payment. Most defeated MPs had many challenges leaving Parliament and transitioning into public life. We learnt of mental health issues, relationship breakdowns, frustrations, shame and loneliness. Many found difficulties in obtaining meaningful employment.
Some were very bitter, many reported being belittled and dejected by the process. We rang them a couple of times and overall they were very thankful that a fellow MP had contact them. We have agreed to call them following the release of the “Transitioning to Life after Parliament” report.
Visiting former MPs in Aged Care facilities has been on put on hold during Covid pandemic. But it has been agreed that we need to develop protocols before this process starts.
Support and Wellbeing Committee
December 10, 2021