LIBERAL MLC Catherine Cusack entered NSW parliament in 2003, and her present term is scheduled to run until 2027.
She is then, a senior member of the parliament, in years of service if not in political ranking.
She referred to some of her experiences in the Legislative Council on Thursday afternoon in a speech that she unmistakably framed as putting principle ahead of pragmatism - a speech on the Coalition government's koala protection policy that was also, as she knew, a political suicide note.
Having spoken of the near-extinction of the koala, Ms Cusack went on to say that her faith in government planning processes - state and federal - had "been shattered".
"I have friends in cabinet, and they are great Liberals with whom I have worked for decades," the upper house MP said.
"My position on the bill today inflicts enormous harm on those relationships. I cannot say how sad and sorry I am for that."
She was sacked as Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter that night by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
Political watchers will know that this is not the first time Ms Cusack has lost the job.
The first time was in March 2017, when Ms Cusack sent a late night email to Ms Berejiklian, criticising her ministerial appointments.
Ms Cusack resigned before she was pushed, saying: "All I want to do is apologise to all the people I have let down".
Ms Cusack lost her Hunter parliamentary secretary role to Scot MacDonald, and only regained it when she beat him in a Liberal Party preselection before the 2019 election, forcing him out of parliament.
The now demoted MP declined to comment on the koala controversy yesterday, saying she had said all she needed to say in the house.
She said a lot there, but time will tell whether that was the full story.
As Joel Fitzgibbon's recent ouster from the federal Labor front bench showed us, there can be more to such decisions than meets the eye.
In Mr Fitzgibbon's case, we soon learned he had already agreed to stand down from the front bench at year's end, regardless.
Ms Cusack's dedication to the koalas is not doubted, and she told the house she believed her actions would "assist the government".
The premier, already down on political capital after the Daryl Maguire controversy, appears to have disagreed.
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