Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed he will step down from politics in next year’s election.
“Earlier today, I spoke with the Prime Minister and my Electorate Chairman and informed them that I would not be standing in the next election. This may surprise some of you, ”he joked.
The wife and staff of the Minister of Health were allowed to enter the public gallery to hear his farewell speech.
“I am so proud of this government, this parliament and this nation, and all that has been done to save lives and protect lives,” he said.
“There will be challenges, but we are well prepared for the future. “
He paid tribute to his wife Paula, for having raised the couple’s two children alone.
“[My children] said to me, Sunday, they looked at me and said, “Daddy, this is your last chance to be a real dad, and it’s time to come home”.
As Rob harris wrote yesterday, Mr Hunt, who was first elected in November 2001, is one of only three Liberal MPs, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Secretary Peter Dutton, to have served on the federal cabinet since the Coalition came to power in September 2013. It has held the health portfolio since January 2017.
Mr Morrison praised Mr Hunt as minister with “a huge heart”, adding that health was “one of the most difficult portfolios” in the cabinet.
“You want a health minister who has a big brain and a big heart,” Mr. Morrison said.
“We all respond to a higher authority in this place, and [Mr Hunt’s family is] … the higher authority on which the Minister of Health depends.
“I could not be more grateful to the Minister of Health but especially to the [Mr Hunt’s wife and children] for allowing Greg to be here and serve in this place and be a part of our team here, especially over the past three years.