Jodi McKay

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Jodi McKay
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Newcastle
In office
24 March 2007 – 26 March 2011
Preceded by Bryce Gaudry
Succeeded by Tim Owen
Minister for Tourism
In office
8 September 2008 – 28 March 2011
Premier Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Preceded by Matt Brown
Succeeded by George Souris
Minister for the Hunter
In office
8 September 2008 – 28 March 2011
Premier Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Preceded by Michael Costa
Succeeded by Mike Gallacher
Minister for Science and Medical Research
In office
11 November 2008 – 28 March 2011
Premier Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Preceded by Tony Stewart
Succeeded by Jillian Skinner
Minister for Women
In office
8 December 2008 – 28 March 2011
Premier Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Preceded by Verity Firth
Succeeded by Pru Goward
Personal details
Born (1969-08-16) 16 August 1969 (age 45)
Gloucester, New South Wales
Political party Australian Labor Party
Profession TV news presenter
Website NSW Parliament website

Jodi Leyanne McKay (born 16 August 1969 at Gloucester, New South Wales[1]) is a former Australian politician who represented the electoral district of Newcastle in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 2007 until her defeat at the 2011 election. Between 2008 and 2011, McKay held a number of junior ministerial responsibilities in the Rees and Keneally governments, including serving as the Minister for the Hunter, Tourism, Small Business, Science and Medical Research, Commerce, and Women, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer).

Early years and background[edit]

McKay began her career as a journalist before entering the private sector in corporate communications and marketing. McKay also served on the Board of Hunter Medical Research Institute, The University of Newcastle Research Associates and Hunter Manufacturers' Association prior to entering politics.[1]

Political career[edit]

McKay was endorsed as Labor's candidate for Newcastle over the sitting member Bryce Gaudry, after Premier Morris Iemma personally intervened to ensure her selection.[2] The subsequent election became a tight three-way contest between McKay, Gaudry (who ran as an independent) and the independent Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate; with McKay winning on Gaudry's preferences.[3]

In 2008, McKay was appointed to cabinet as the Minister for Tourism and Minister for the Hunter and immediately distanced herself from the style of her predecessor Michael Costa and committed to greater engagement with local government and community groups.[4] Her appointment was welcomed by local tourism and business groups including the Hunter Chamber of Commerce.[4] McKay was also appointed as the Minister for Science and Medical Research, Minister assisting on Health, Minister for Commerce, Minister for Small Business, and Minister for Women. At the 2011 election, Labor recorded a 31.0% share of the primary vote at the polls to the Liberal's 36.4% and Tate's 11.5% and the Greens 14.6%. On a two-party preferred basis this translated into 52.4% for the Liberal's Tim Owen and 47.6% for McKay, who conceded defeat.

In April 2008 the NSW Greens were critical of McKay for failing to declare a political donation from a local developer to help pay for printing costs during her campaign. The donor was at the time seeking support from the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, for a development at Medowie, near Newcastle Airport.[5] McKay consistently denied any knowledge of the donation which was found to have been made to Labor's New South Wales head office. In light of the donation McKay refused to meet with the developer throughout her tenure as a Member of Parliament and as a Minister.[6] Subsequent to her political career, in 2014 McKay gave evidence before the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that she was asked to accept an alleged bribe and reported the matter to the NSW Police, the ICAC and the Election Funding Authority.[7][8] McKay told the Independent Commission Against Corruption that Nathan Tinkler had offered to bankroll her 2011 election campaign, in exchange for her support of $1 billion coal loader project. Ms McKay gave evidence that she reported Mr Tinkler's alleged bribe offer to police, ICAC, the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Funding Authority. McKay told him she could not accept his money because he was a banned donor.[9] ICAC inquiry revealed that after McKay knocked backed the ‘‘bribe’’, Tinkler’s Buildev company, Ms McKay’s colleague and senior Labor MP Joe Tripodi and former Labor staffer Ann Wills were involved in a pamphlet smear campaign that she believes contributed to her election loss. McKay was in tears in the ICAC witness box as confirmation of what she had long suspected came to light.[10]

Post-political career[edit]

McKay presently holds an executive role with Family Planning NSW; and is a non-executive director of both Australian Science Innovations and Epilepsy Action Australia.[11]

After the first ICAC hearing, McKay said she would never return to politics,[1][12] McKay has been selected as the Labor Candidate for the seat of Strathfield for the 2015 March State election.[2].[13] On addressing her decision to enter politics again, McKay said that she realised "if you want change, it has to come from within.”[3][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ms Jodi Leyanne MCKAY". Former members. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Sikora, Kate; Hildebrand, Joe (6 March 2007). "Rat in the ranks for ALP". Daily Telegraph (Australia). Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  3. ^ Green, Antony. "2011 New South Wales Election: Analysis of Results". NSW Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Strachan, Julieanne (8 September 2008). "Jodi McKay - Hunter's newest Minister". The Newcastle Herald (Australia). Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  5. ^ Clennell, Andrew (14 April 2008). "Labor MP fails to mention $50,000". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 April 2008. 
  6. ^ Goffet, Neil (5 March 2011). "Tinkler pushes coal-loader plan". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  7. ^ McClymont, Kate; Whitbourn, Michaela; Lindell, Jasper (1 May 2014). "ICAC inquiry: Jodi McKay, Eric Roozendaal and the Nathan Tinkler 'bribe'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Gerathy, Sarah (2 May 2014). "Former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay gives evidence to ICAC over alleged Nathan Tinkler bribe". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  9. ^ HARRIS, MICHELLE (23 May 2014). "Jodi McKay able to face Newcastle again". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Gerathy, Sarah (2 May 2014). "Former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay gives evidence to ICAC over alleged Nathan Tinkler bribe". ABC News. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "About Us: Executive Team". Family Planning NSW. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  12. ^ McGowen, Michael. "ICAC: Jodi McKay coy on running again". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Jodi McKay to be Labor candidate for Strathfield in 2015 NSW election". ABC News. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Lynch, Peter. "Jodi McKay signals start of tough campaign over the state seat of Strathfield". Our Stratfield. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Bryce Gaudry
Member for Newcastle
2007 – 2011
Succeeded by
Tim Owen
Political offices
Preceded by
Matt Brown
Minister for Tourism
2008 – 2011
Succeeded by
George Souris
as Minister for Tourism,
Major Events, Hospitality and Racing
Preceded by
Michael Costa
Minister for the Hunter
2008 – 2011
Succeeded by
Mike Gallacher
Preceded by
Tony Stewart
Minister for Science and Medical Research
2008 – 2011
Succeeded by
Jillian Skinner
as Minister for Medical Research
Preceded by
Verity Firth
Minister for Women
2008 – 2011
Succeeded by
Pru Goward