Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great sadness that I announce that I will resign as Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs.
I am sad because I love this job.
I'm totally dedicated to the work that we are doing in Australia's name around the world, and I believe that we have achieved many good results for Australia, and I'm proud of them.
It's therefore been for me a great privilege to serve our country as foreign minister, to represent our people abroad, and I thank the people of our country for their support as I have discharged these responsibilities.
But while I am sad to leave this office, I am sadder still that it has come to this. The last time that I resigned from a position in public office was when I resigned as prime minister of Australia, and regrettably, there have been some similar factors at play today.
It's time for some plain speaking on this.
The truth is I can only serve as foreign minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers.
In recent days, Minister Crean and a number of other faceless men have publicly attacked my integrity and therefore my fitness to serve as a minister in the government.
When challenged today on these attacks, Prime Minister Gillard chose not to repudiate them.
I can only reluctantly conclude that she therefore shares these views.
The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as Foreign Minister if I do not have Prime Minister Gillard's support.
I therefore believe the only honourable thing and the only honourable course of action is for me to resign, and I do so with a genuinely heavy heart and after much personal reflection.
There are other factors, too, that I have had to take into consideration today.
The truth is that the Australian people regard this whole affair as little better than a soap opera, and they are right. And under current circumstances, I won't be part of it.
It is also, I believe, a distraction from the real business of government.
I also believe it's affecting the business community, and I agree with recent statements by peak bodies to this effect. It is important that business confidence is maintained in Australia.
The economy and jobs are core to what any responsible government is about.
I also believe that this ongoing saga is bad for my good friend Anna Bligh, as she fights the fight of her life in Queensland.
She's a great Premier. She's a good friend.
And I believe the good people of Queensland deserve some clear space over the coming month, as they make up their minds on a very important decision on the future of Queensland - my home state; a state I'm very proud to be from.