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Ley finally does what Turnbull is too weak to do - removes herself from the front bench



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CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

SENATOR THE HON DON FARRELL DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE HON. JULIE COLLINS MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN

LEY FINALLY DOES WHAT TURNBULL IS TOO WEAK TO DO - REMOVES HERSELF FROM THE FRONT BENCH

Sussan Ley has finally done the right thing and resigned, after an entire week of inaction and hiding from a weak Prime Minister.

From the outset, the test for Ley and Turnbull was simply to provide a reasonable explanation for using a taxpayer-funded trip to purchase an $800,000 investment property. Not only has she been unable to provide this explanation, she admitted to breaching ministerial standards.

From this moment, Ley and Turnbull had no choice - she had to resign, or he had to sack her.

Malcolm Turnbull has treated Australians with contempt and disrespect in his handling of this scandal. He acted too late, took the easy way out and hasn’t had the guts to show his face once.

As well as reinforcing how weak the Prime Minister is, this scandal has exposed how out-of-touch the Liberals are with the lives of everyday Australians.

They say they can’t afford to spend taxpayer funds on properly funding Medicare or schools - and yet they can afford to spend taxpayer funds on Gold Coast getaways for themselves.

Make no mistake - the new Health Minister will inherit a portfolio riddled with crises and they must immediately reverse the Medicare freeze, reverse cuts to vital tests and scans, and abandon plans to hike the price of medicines.

They also must put the care of older Australians first and immediately commit to review and reform aged care funding to address the lack of predictability and certainty which has been caused by this divided and dysfunctional Turnbull Liberal Government. There is also urgent action required on suicide prevention and mental health reform.

In addition, the new Minister for Sport needs to treat the portfolio with the respect it deserves.

Despite Sussan Ley’s numerous trips to the Gold Coast, reports this week suggest that in the past two years she has spent less than an hour meeting Games organisers and touring venues.

The former minister’s lack of attention to sport and the Government’s cuts to funding, which total tens of millions of dollars over the past three years with significant cuts still to come, do not add up to a win for Australian sport.

Malcolm Turnbull must use this change in Health, Ageing and Sport Minister to drop his cuts which will make health care more expensive for everyone and undermine Australia’s sporting strengths.

FRIDAY, 13 JANUARY 2017 MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751