Catherine King retains her position as Opposition Spokesperson for Health.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced the new Shadow Cabinet on Saturday with Catherine King keeping the primary role in the key health portfolio.
While there had been some discussion that health, one of the opposition’s successful policy areas in the recent federal election, would be given to deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek, Ms King will continue in the portfolio.
Announcing the shadow cabinet, Shorten said: “After a campaign where healthcare was a front and centre issue for so many Australians, I’m pleased that Catherine King has agreed to my request to continue her great work as the Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare”.
The Member for Ballarat since 2001, King has been opposition Health Spokesperson since 2013.
Supporting her in the role will be a team consisting of Tony Zappia (Makin, SA) as Shadow Assistant Minister for Medicare, Julie Collins (Franklin, Tas) as the new Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health, and Senator Helen Polley (Tas) as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Ageing.
Senator Katy Gallagher (ACT) will “bring her wealth of experience to her new role as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services”, Shorten said.
The government has already gone on the attack in the health space, with Health Minister Sussan Ley issuing a release welcoming King’s reappointment, but adding that “… he reality is it does not matter who Labor appoints to the position if Bill Shorten is still their chief salesman”.
“Ms King will also have to justify her role as a member of Rudd-Gillard Health Ministry which cut over $6 billion from Medicare and medicines in government,” the release also said.