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Statement on the Hon Jenny Macklin MP



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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

THE HON WAYNE SWAN MP MEMBER FOR LILLEY

STATEMENT ON THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

Today we pay tribute to our dear friend and colleague Jenny Macklin, who has announced she is standing down from the shadow ministry, and will not re-contest the seat of Jagajaga at the next federal election.

Jenny has been the member for Jagajaga since 1996, representing Labor in the House of Representatives longer than any other woman. She has been a member of the Labor front bench since 1996, and as Deputy Leader between 2001 and 2006, she was the first woman to serve in a federal leadership position in any party.

We thank her for her leadership and for inspiring so many other Labor women to serve in the Parliament, including in senior party positions.

Over the years, we have been honoured to serve with Jenny in many Cabinets, Shadow Cabinets, and Cabinet committees. Personally, we will deeply miss her friendship and wise counsel.

In her first speech, Jenny said that the people of Jagajaga had placed great trust in her and she was determined to honour that trust. Her legacy is a testament to that determination.

Over the last 22 years Jenny has been an unflinching advocate for a fairer Australia. She will be remembered as the architect of the most significant social policy reforms of the last two decades.

Jenny is one of the finest policy minds Australia has ever produced. Her rare combination of a formidable intellect, a compassionate heart, and an incredible ability for getting things done has improved the lives of millions of Australians.

Jenny always understood the importance of inclusive economic growth, which informed her approach to everything she did - including Labor’s response to the Global Financial Crisis, which saved hundreds of thousands of Australians from unemployment.

She fought hard - really hard - for her priorities in Cabinet and caucus, but it was never about measuring success by portfolio size, or how much money she could get, it was about the policy and the results for others.

There is no better advocate for the rights of Australians, for the forgotten, for those who are doing it tough, struggling to make ends meet, for the elderly and those who depend on government services. It's little wonder that the people of Jagajaga recognised Jenny's determination by re-electing her in seven subsequent federal elections.

We thank Jenny for the historic Labor initiatives which depended on her vision and determination, including:  the agreement between Australian governments to Close the Gap on health and life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians;

 the National Apology to the Stolen Generations which would not have occurred in the way it did without Jenny Macklin;  the Apology to the more than 500,000 Forgotten Australians and Child Migrants who suffered abuse and neglect in out of home care over the last century;  the implementation of the most significant social policy initiative since Medicare,

the National Disability Insurance Scheme;  the introduction of Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay, giving over one million new parents the support they need to take time off work to care for

children in the critical early months;  a new supplement for carers, who are some of the most overworked and underappreciated Australians in the non-market sector; and  the biggest increase to the aged pension in 100 years. The next Labor government will continue to build on Jenny’s impressive record and implement initiatives that she has driven, including a Royal Commission into the Abuse and Neglect of People with a Disability.

Jenny will be missed by her colleagues and friends right across the Parliament.

As Jenny has said, there is still much to be done, and she will be doing all she can to advocate for a more equal Australia. We look forward to working with her as she continues to campaign to end inequality.

We wish Jenny, Ross and their family the very best for the future.

FRIDAY, 6 JULY 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS: DAN DORAN (PLIBERSEK) 0427 464 350 DANIEL DE VOSS (SWAN) 0403 775 158