Bob Carr
Bob Carr

Bye-bye Bob - Carr quits after 18 months

AFTER just 18 months in the Senate, former Foreign Minister Bob Carr will leave his position, offering his resignation tomorrow.

Offering "malice to none and generosity and charity to all", the Senator said he wished to reinvent himself as an expert on Asia, taking a role with the University of New South Wales as an Adjunct Professor.

The former NSW Premier was parachuted into the Senate position in March last year, filling a casual vacancy left following the resignation of Mark Arbib.

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, Senator Carr said his early pledges to carve out a longer-term career in federal politics were "irrational exuberance" on his part, but this was now replaced by a more thoughtful view.

Senator Carr said new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was the best option for the ALP if it wished to have a chance of winning the next federal poll.

He criticised some decisions by Julia Gillard - who appointed him as Senator - saying policies including the carbon price were not handled with proper "canniness" or caution.

He said he backed Kevin Rudd's tilt for her job in the twilight of Labor's term because the ALP would have struggled to rebuild if voters deserted it in the numbers suggested by polls.

When asked if he had any advice for those left behind in Labor, Senator Carr said the Opposition should not bend on supporting its asylum seeker policies struck with Papua New Guinea.

"The Federal parliamentary Labor Party must adhere to that or the Australian people will judge them harshly," he said.

"It is the right policy."