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07 Jun 2019

Former Treasurer Chris Bowen is the new Shadow Health Minister, having been appointed by Labor’s new leader Anthony Albanese.

Mr Bowen was Treasurer in 2013 under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He mostly recently served as Shadow Treasurer under the Labor leadership of Bill Shorten for the past six years.

Catherine King, who held the health portfolio for Labor for six years, has been appointed Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.

Ms King congratulated Mr Bowen on his appointment and said she greatly enjoyed her time in the health portfolio.

“It was a great honour to serve as Labor's Shadow Health Minister for six years and I’ll always be proud of the ambitious health agenda we took to last month's election,” Ms King said.

Mr Bowen praised Ms King’s efforts in the area and said he was keen to embrace the portfolio.

“I’m delighted to have been appointed as the Shadow Minister for Health by the Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese. As the longest serving Shadow Treasurer in Australian history, it’s time to hand over the portfolio,” Mr Bowen said. 

“I would also like to acknowledge my predecessor as Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King. Catherine has spent the last six years advocating for a better healthcare system for all Australians.

“As Shadow Minister for Health I will hold the Morrison Government to account for their appalling record and cuts to the health system in Australia…

“I’ll be keen to tackle the scourge of diabetes, obesity and the other health challenges in areas of low income and poor health outcomes. Closing the Gap of Indigenous disadvantage in health will also be one of my key areas of priority.

“I have long had a passionate interest in mental health and suicide prevention. This will now be a focus in my portfolio. Medicare is one of Labor’s greatest achievements. It must be protected and grown. To be a successor of the likes of Bill Hayden and Neal Blewett as Labor’s Health spokesman is a great honour.

“I look forward to becoming Minister for Health in the Albanese Labor Government.”

Julie Collins has kept her portfolio as Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors.

Mr Shorten will remain in the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Published: 07 Jun 2019