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Labor veteran to retire from politics


Former Rudd and Gillard government minister Jenny Macklin has announced she is retiring from federal politics.

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The veteran Labor MP has held the Melbourne seat of Jagajaga for 22 years and served on the Government or Opposition frontbench for that time.

“As the longest serving Labor woman in the House of Representatives, ever, ‘It’s Time’, as Gough so famously said, for me to move on,” Macklin said in a statement today.

“It’s also time for the next generation. Although I still want to contribute to policy debates, it’s time for me to step back.”

While she will be departing parliament at the next election, Macklin will not be stepping back from public policy or public life.

“I will continue to do all I can for my local community and to be an advocate for a more equal Australia,” she said.

Elected to the north-east Melbourne seat of Jagajaga in 1996, Macklin, 64, went on to serve as deputy Labor leader to Kim Beazley.

She also served as Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for six years and Minister for Disability Reform for two years.

“Every political party in Australia wishes they had a Jenny Macklin,” Labor leader Bill Shorten said today.

“But only Labor has been blessed with her extraordinary mind, her caring heart and her fearless love of the good fight. How lucky we have been.”

Leader of the government in the Senate Mathias Cormann said it was important to have high-quality people across the political spectrum.

“There’s no question that Jenny Macklin for her party has made a very significant contribution for a very long time,” he told Sky News.

“At a personal level, I congratulate her for her significant contribution to public life, for her significant contribution to policy development and implementation.”


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