The Coalition is pleased to announce the following changes to the Shadow Ministry.
The Hon. Darren Chester, Member for Gippsland, will become Shadow Minister for Regional Education; Shadow Minister for Regional Development; and Shadow Minister for Local Government and Territories.
Dr Anne Webster, Member for Mallee, will become Assistant Shadow Minister for Regional Health.
“These new appointments will strengthen the Coalition’s representation of regional Australia and I look forward to continuing to work with Mr Chester and Dr Webster as they carry out their new roles,” Mr Dutton said.
“I thank my Coalition team for their hard work and their unity in holding the government to account. I can assure all Australians that the Coalition will continue to focus on delivering positive plans and policies for the future of our country in 2023 and in the lead-up to the next election.”
Mr Littleproud said Mr Chester had extensive experience as a former government Minister and a deep understanding of issues facing regional, rural and remote communities.
“Darren is a very experienced representative for regional Australia. He understands the issues facing regional communities and local government and will be a strong advocate in the face of Labor’s severe budget cuts to regional Australia,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Darren will also focus on key regional issues such as better local access to childcare and education opportunities as part of the regional education portfolio.”
Mr Littleproud added Dr Anne Webster would provide a dedicated focus on the chronic health workforce issues in regional Australia.
“Anne is a passionate advocate for better access to GPs and health professionals in regional Australia and will work tirelessly in regional health policy development and holding the Government to account.
“Anne will especially focus on the regional shortage of GPs and health professionals, which is being made far worse through Labor’s callous changes to rural health workforce incentive criteria.”
Attributable quotes from the Hon Darren Chester, Member for Gippsland:
“I’m excited by the opportunity to serve in this new role and I’m looking forward to consulting widely with community leaders across regional Australia, as we develop our positive policies for the future.
“The Nationals team is working to deliver a safer, stronger, better and fairer regional Australia, where everyone can get ahead.
“I will bring my experience in government and opposition to the shadow ministry and focus on delivering polices, programs and services that improve the lives of people who choose to live outside our capital cities.”
Attributable quotes from Dr Anne Webster, Member for Mallee:
“I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity, to develop health policy for those who live in regional Australia.
“Healthcare is something I am incredibly passionate about. I said in my maiden speech to Parliament that a person’s postcode should not determine their health status and I fervently believe this.
“I look forward to working with Shadow Minister for Health Anne Ruston to achieve better outcomes for all Australians, wherever they live.”