Statement on Appointment to Attorney General
Nicola Roxon expresses her thanks to those she had worked with as health minister for four years.
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PDF printable version of Statement on Appointment to Attorney General (PDF 44 KB)
15 December 2011
I thank the Prime Minister for her confidence in appointing me as Australia’s Attorney General. Serving in this role will be an honour and a challenge I will embrace with diligence and passion.
I want to record my thanks to all those I have worked worth as Health Minister for four years, during which the Labor Government has delivered unprecedented national health reform that will significantly improve the way that health services are provided for generations to come.
The work done across all vital areas in health over the last four years - prevention, primary care, hospitals, subacute care and workforce - are making a difference to the community right now. Specifically, I am proud of:
- making it easier for Australians to see and contact a doctor when they need one, by training hundreds of extra doctors each year we have been in office, launching the GP After Hours line, investing in GP Super Clinics, and funding hundreds of practice expansions across the country
- planning properly and investing thoroughly in Australia’s health workforce, by increasing the number of GP training places by 50% with 900 in training this year, training more than 1,000 extra nurses each year, and lifting the number of medical specialists in training to 9 times the number that we inherited in 2007
- fighting cancer with all our force - including the world’s first plain packaging legislation for tobacco, listing nicotine patches on the PBS, and funding 24 regional cancer centres to overcome inequity in cancer treatment and cancer survival rates faced by people in rural and regional Australia
- reforming and modernising health services - by allowing midwives and nurse practitioners access to the PBS and MBS, and introducing telehealth consultations to open up regional Australia to specialist services
- delivering massive investments to our hospitals through a national health reform agreement reached with all states and territories - including stable, transparent funding arrangements into the future
- making it easier for Australians to get treatment in a hospital with over 130,000 extra elective surgeries delivered, and 700 hospital infrastructure projects underway across the country right now.
Thank you to those hundreds and thousands of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrators and advocates who have worked tirelessly and passionately with us to make a difference to every Australian needing health care.
Both Tanya Plibersek and Mark Butler are highly capable, committed and experienced politicians, who I know will enjoy carrying on the task of delivering improved health services to those in need, and will bring a fresh and passionate perspective to a demanding and wonderful portfolio.
My new role as Australia’s first female Attorney-General is an exciting opportunity. I look forward, as part of this change, to continuing to take the fight up to big tobacco to reduce the harms caused by smoking. I started my professional life in the law and welcome the chance to return to those skills.
I look forward to continuing to deliver on the Gillard Labor Government’s vision for a better Australia.
For more information, please contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7220
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