Andrew Cornwell.FOUR months since Andrew Cornwell’s political career was destroyed following admissions he accepted banned donations from developers, the former member for Charlestown is in a healthier frame of mind.
“I’m back into the swing of things at the vets and back being a parent,” Cornwell said on Tuesday following a round of golf at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic.
“I was away from home a lot and it now means I have more time to spend with Sam and the kids, and it’s something I’m enjoying.”
Cornwell resigned from the Liberal party and announced he would not recontest his seat in August after the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard he received an illegal $10,000 donation from former Newcastle lord mayor and developer Jeff McCloy and $10,120 from Hilton Grugeon for a painting.
Since ICAC, Cornwell said he has received plenty of goodwill from his former electorate.
“The most important thing out of it for me personally is most people just wanted to make sure I was OK,” he said.
“It’s obviously a fairly traumatic experience.
“The most tragic thing is the Hunter has lost its leverage. We had leverage because we held seats against their natural voting patterns and we’ve lost that and that’s the real tragedy.”
Asked if the people of Charlestown can expect a return to politics from Cornwell as an independent at the next election, he said: “At this stage I’m focused on enjoying Christmas with the kids and getting my teeth back into the hospital at the moment.
“It something I had on hold for three years, so it’s a good opportunity to get my skills back up to speed and catch up with all my clients, so that’s my focus at the moment.”