Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Resignation from Ministry

I wish to announce that yesterday I advised the Prime Minister that I am resigning from the Cabinet as I do not intend to contest the next election.

With the next election not due for two years I have considered the enormous commitment that is required of Ministers and, with the announcement by Senator the Hon Robert Hill of his retirement, I have decided that now is the right time to announce my intentions to enable the Prime Minister to reshape the Ministry in preparation for the next election.

Public service as a Member of Parliament is a privilege and I consider it an honour to have been part of a government led by John Howard for the past ten years. It has been a privilege to serve as a Cabinet Minister for the last four years, as Minister for Health and Ageing and Minister for Family and Community Services, and prior to that as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

It is a great honour to have served under John Howard and I will look back on my time, particularly in Cabinet, as being part of an important period in which the Coalition Government has improved the living standards of all Australians. My greatest sadness in announcing my resignation from the Ministry is that I will not have the same opportunity to champion the cause of people with a disability. I have made every effort to assist people with a disability and their carers, both young and old, and my passion for these groups remains unchanged and I will continue to advocate for them in the future.

I leave my position as a Cabinet Minister with gratitude for the opportunity I have had to serve in this role and give heartfelt thanks to my staff, past and present, and to my family and friends who have given me unfailing support. I also leave grateful that my integrity, sense of humour and zest for life are still intact.