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Labor MP resigns frontbench due to family illness

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WA Labor MP Melissa Parke has stepped down from her role as Shadow Assistant Health Minister because of an illness in her family.

In a statement issued on 17 February, the Member for Fremantle said that “a member of my immediate family is facing a serious health issue, and I need to make that a priority at this time”.

“Every one of us working in Federal politics needs to strike a balance between the often extensive time and travel demands of Parliamentary work, and the important ups-and-downs of family life,” she said. “At this point, I need to make my family and my electorate work the primary focus of my time and energy.”

Senior political positions can be particularly demanding for Western Australian politicians because of the time they have to be away from family and the large distances they have to travel.

Ms Parke said it had been a privilege to be Shadow Assistant Health Minister, and she hoped that in future she would be in a position to make a similar contribution again.

In the meantime, she said she would remain an “active and vigorous” local Member.

Adrian Rollins