Politician Duncan Kerr has today announced he will return to law after 41 years with the Australian Labor Party.
Kerr, once a Minister for Justice who served a brief stint as Attorney-General under the Keating government and the current Labor MP for Denison, said he would leave politics at the next election to return to his career as a barrister.
Kerr told The Australian newspaper that he never imagined that he would have been able to hold his seat in Denison over eight different Parliaments and three different governments.
Recently, Kerr told Lawyers Weekly that although he made the transition from law to politics all those years ago, he has always maintained his practicing certificate as an "enduring safety net" and "insurance policy" in a bid to prevent him becoming a prisoner of the vagarities and whims of political life.
He did, however, concede that being a politician - compared to a lawyer - did come with its challenges in that he is being judged whenever he's in public. "If I go out and eat a meal at a restaurant, you're being seen, people know these things and are making judgments about you because they choose whether to re-elect you or not," he said.
"So that sense of constancy of public attention is very different to what a barrister experiences - they may be in the news every now and then and for some moments may be extremely well-known due to the fact that hey are representing a high-profile client or involved in a high-profile cause, but after that's finished they go back to a private existence."
Through those eight consecutive elections Kerr usually held a steady lead over his opposition - Labor currently holds the seat of Denison by 25 per cent.
He is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs - a position he will resign from at the end of next month.