UPPER House veteran and former NSW roads minister Duncan Gay has announced his retirement after nearly three decades in parliament.
His last sitting day in Macquarie Street will be June 22.
Mr Gay, 67, notified his Nationals colleagues at Thursday’s central council meeting at Broken Hill, ahead of the party’s annual state conference in the Far West on Friday and Saturday.
He has been a member of the NSW Nationals Party since 1974 and was elected as a Member of the Legislative Council in March 1988.
When he was elected, Tourism Minister Adam Marshall was three years old, while MLC Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Early Childhood Education, was five.
Mr Gay served as roads minister from 2011 to until he lost the portfolio in January’s cabinet reshuffle.
“As a young grazier from Crookwell, I would have never dreamed of being one of the state’s longest serving ministers for roads”, Mr Gay said.
“I could not be prouder of what we achieved in my portfolio over six years”.
NSW Nationals Party Chairman, Bede Burke paid tribute to Mr Gay saying that “Right across NSW, drivers only have to look out their car window to see all of the roads under construction – from Mulgoa to Molong to Moree.”
Born and raised in Crookwell, near Goulburn and educated at Crookwell District Rural School, Mr Gay completed his secondary schooling at Newington College in Sydney and later went on to study accountancy and wool classing. He is married to Katie and they have two children, Anna and James.
He served in the Army Reserve 12 Company Royal Australian Army Service Corp (Transport) at Marrickville and the 19th Royal NSW Regiment (Infantry) at Holsworthy.
Prior to his life as a politician, Duncan was the owner of a small trucking company and the manager of his family’s grazing property at Crookwell, where his home base remains today.
In 2011 Mr Gay was made a life member of the party.
Both Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro thanked Mr Gay for his service.
“Under his guidance, more money has been invested in rural and regional roads in NSW than in any other state in the country,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Programs like Bridges for the Bush, Fixing Country Roads and Fixing Country Rail mean that every person driving in regional NSW will benefit from Duncan’s leadership and legacy.
NSW Nationals Deputy Leader Niall Blair said Mr Gay will be missed by all sides of the chamber.
“History will record Duncan as one of the giants of the Legislative Council,” Mr Blair said.