2 February 2020
Today I have tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister. This decision has obvious implications for my National Party leadership roles so I have informed The Nationals Leader also of my intention to resign my leadership roles.
I have been humbled and heartened to be given the opportunity to serve the Australian people in two Governments as a National Party Minister. I thank my National Party colleagues for putting their faith in me as the Party’s Deputy and giving me the opportunity to serve our nation as a Minister and for supporting our Leader Michael McCormack. I am committed to remain as a Victorian National Party Senator and to keep fighting for the needs of rural and regional Australians.
The importance of having a strong National Party voice in Cabinet ensures that regional Australians are not left behind. For a century The Nationals has unashamedly championed the interests of Australian agriculture. The honour and privilege to serve as Australia’s first female Agriculture Minister has been immense. Despite our present challenges I am confident that the Australian agriculture has its best years ahead of it.
I have always taken my role as a Minister of the Crown very seriously and I understand that the community expects parliamentarians to abide by the highest standards.
I accept the Prime Minister and Cabinet report, in relation to my previous role as a Sports Minister. I maintain that at no time did my membership of shooting sports clubs influence my decision making, nor did I receive any personal gain. However, acknowledge that my failure to declare my memberships in a timely manner constituted a breach of the Prime Minister’s Ministerial Standards.
Elected representatives are responsible for public expenditure and take advice, not direction, from the public service and others. The operation of ministerial discretion is important to our democratic process.
My support for the sport of shooting is well known and fully disclosed through my public advocacy. I will continue to back our sporting shooters against the ongoing, often misinformed, public debate about a sport that routinely wins Australia medals at the Olympics.
This has been a very difficult period particularly for my staff. I want to thank them for their loyalty and professionalism. Thank you to all those Australians who have sent me messages of support, prayers and strength in recent weeks.
I look forward to the Morrison McCormack Government continuing to deliver a strong, safe and prosperous Australia.
2 February 2020