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Health gets a King

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Ballarat MP and former Health Department bureaucrat Catherine King has been appointed Shadow Minister for Health in the new-look frontbench unveiled by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Ms King was Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing in the Gillard Government, and her appointment is seen as ensuring there is some experience and continuity in what is regarded as an important portfolio.

Before entering politics in 2001, Ms King was a senior Department of Health and Ageing bureaucrat, serving as Assistant Director in the Department’s Population Health Division before becoming Aged Care Director, Injury Prevention, in the Population Health Division.

Ms King fills a vacancy left by Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek who, after serving more than two years as Health Minster, has become Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Shorten-led Opposition.

In other appointments, Queensland MP Jan McLucas has been made Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Melissa Parke (WA) is Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, and Amanda Rishworth from South Australia is Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health.

Adrian Rollins