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Dr Michael Wooldridge preselected for Casey.

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Media Release



(Victorian Division)

Robert Menzies Centre

Level 3

104 Exhibition Street

Melbourne 3000 Australia


MW 89/98

29 April 1998




Dr Michael Wooldridge was last night no minated as the Liberal Party's candidate for the Federal Electorate of Casey at the next election, to replace the retiring member and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Bob Halverson OBE MP.


Dr Wooldridge, 41 , is presently the Federal Minister for Health and Family Services and has represented the electorate of Chisholm since 1987.


“I am honoured to have won preselection for Casey with the strong support of the local branch delegates and members drawn State-wide from the Victorian Liberal Party's Policy Assembly,” Dr Wooldridge said.


“Casey presents me with a new series of challenges in a very different part of Melbourne to my current seat of Chisholm.


“As a growing outer metropolitan area cradled between the Dandenongs and the Great Dividing Range, Casey includes some significant rural industries and exporters but the vital family and personal concerns about living standards, security, small business and jobs are the same ones I've worked to advance in Chisholm.


“I am pleased to be presented with the opportunity to work hard for the people of Casey and to continue the tradition of dedicated service that has won Bob Halverson wide support.


"I want to particularly pay tribute to Bob Halverson, who has been a marvellous advocate for Casey and a valued colleague since I entered Parliament 12 years ago.


“I also want to thank the other candidates who sought preselection for the dignity and commitment they have shown. The Liberal Party is fortunate to have such a rich stock of talent, and in other circumstances they would have been very welcome additions to our Parliamentary team in Canberra.


“Preselections in the Liberal Party are a great display of the democratic tradition where local people choose their candidate on merit, free of the outside interference and threats from factional bosses that we've recently seen in the Victorian Labor Party.


“I want to thank the many members of the Liberal Party in Casey and elsewhere who encouraged me to make this move, and especially my wife Shelly.


“Together with our sons Edward and Toby, we look forward now to making new friends in the community,” Dr Wooldridge said.


Dr Michael Wooldridge entered Parliament as the Member for Chisholm in 1987 at the age of 30. Prior to entering politics he worked as a trainee in surgery at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital and practised locally as a GP.


Dr Wooldridge attended Monash and Melbourne Universities and holds degrees in Science, Medicine and a Masters degree in Business Administration.


In Parliament, Dr Wooldridge has pursued a wide range of social issues. He is responsible for two of the largest petitions in Australia’s history, one on aged care with 200,000 signatures, the other dealing with access to pharmaceuticals with 60,000 signatures.


In 1990 Dr Woold ridge was appointed to the position of Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to which was added responsibility for Youth Affairs in 1992.


Following the March 1993 federal election, Dr Wooldridge was elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and was appointed Shadow Minister for Education. Employment and Training. Following the change of Federal Leadership, Dr Wooldridge became Shadow Minister responsible for Community Services, Senior Citizens and Aged Care. He was also the Coalition spokesman on AIDS matters. In January 1995, Dr Wooldridge was appointed Shadow Minister for Health and Human Services (including responsibility for Aged Care and AIDS matters).


Following the March 1996 election, Dr Wooldridge was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Health and Family Services. He is also a member of the Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee.


Media Contacts:


Dr Peter Poggioli, State Director, (03) 9654 2255

Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge’s Office, (03) 9563 4073 or 0412 137 699