Scott Morrison names Anne Ruston as new health minister if his government is re-elected | #socialmedia

Senator Ruston, who is currently the social services minister along with women’s safety minister, will replace Greg Hunt, who is retiring from politics.

“Anne has demonstrated the stakeholder management, the financial skills, but most important having a big heart to be able to deal with the many issues that you need to deal with in the health portfolio,” Mr Morrison said during a media conference outside the Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.

“I think she’ll make a fine successor to Greg should the Australian people wish to return us to government on 21 May.”

Senator Ruston said it’s an “absolute honour” to be given the Coalition’s health portfolio should it win re-election.

“I follow in big footsteps and big shoes … a man who will be recognised into the future as the greatest health minister this country has ever had,” she said.

Earlier on Sunday, Liberal frontbencher Jane Hume had thrown her support behind the appointment.

“I am so pleased for her [Ruston]. She is a highly qualified and highly experienced member of our cabinet,” she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“She has dealt with the portfolio in social services as a very successful minister there, dealing with what’s important to millions of people’s lives. So I think she will be a terrific appointment.”


But the appointment drew criticism from Opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who said it signals the Coalition, if re-elected, would make cuts to Medicare.

Speaking to the media after attending a church service in Cairns, Mr Albanese said Senator Ruston “has made it clear that she wants to take the universal out of universal healthcare”.

“I do know that the prime minister had said that this was not going to be a day of usual campaigning. And that he has chosen, the government has chosen, to make a very significant announcement today of the appointment of a new health minister, should the government be re-elected,” he said.

“Anne Ruston has made it very clear that she wants to take the universal out of universal healthcare. She has made it very clear that, if we have a re-election of the Morrison government, we will see more cuts to Medicare, more cuts to Medicare over the next three years.”

Senator Ruston responded to historical comments where she is reported to have said the spending on Medicare was unsustainable. When asked what changes she would make to Medicare, she pointed to the strength of the economy.

“I think the comments you were referring to were back in 2014, and we are standing here today, having come through a pandemic with an extraordinarily strong economy,” she said.

“I think that we have demonstrated over the past seven or eight years that we are a government that is able to manage money,” she said.

“It is a strong economy that affords the support the Australians rely on.

“I think our policies as they relate to healthcare and economy are all clearly laid out for everyone to see, going forward.”

Mr Morrison said he would not announce who will replace Senator Ruston in her current portfolios until after the election.

Promises for diabetes funding

After attending a church service in his home seat of Cook on Sunday, Mr Morrison and Mr Hunt also announced a $273 million commitment to make the treatment of type one diabetes more affordable.

The funding commitment would give Australians with type one diabetes subsidised access to continuous glucose monitoring devices.

Opposition spokesman for health, Mark Butler, said Labor would match the government’s announcement.

“Whatever the election result, Australians with Type 1 diabetes will get better support,” he said on Twitter.

Mr Albanese was also on Sunday asked about which he said will offer an alternative to busy hospital emergency departments for families.

The clinics – dubbed Medicare Urgent Care Clinics – will treat patients needing urgent medical attention, including broken bones, minor burns and stitches for cuts, to free up congested emergency departments.

Questions have been raised about the policy’s costings, and how it would be staffed.

Mr Albanese said on Sunday the plan is not expected to lead to any additional cost on the Medicare Benefits Schedule [MBS].

“You will see that when all of our costings will be released for every policy we are doing. We are doing policy in exactly the same way as Liberal oppositions have done for election after election,” he said.


New mental health and suicide prevention services in WA

More than $60 million will be invested in mental health and suicide prevention in Western Australia, following a bilateral agreement between the Commonwealth and the state governments.

Mr Hunt said the deal will see the delivery of new health services for children as well as support for people following a suicide attempt, and those with eating disorders.

“This landmark partnership … will have a significant impact on the lives of many Australians across the state, including young Australians and children who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“It will help save lives and protect lives.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Marise Payne would not be drawn on whether she believes Katherine Deves should be dropped as the Liberal candidate for the Sydney seat of Warringah, currently held by independent MP Zali Steggall.

Ms Payne was asked the question when speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

Ms Deves has apologised for her past remarks on members of the transgender community.


Ms Deves called transgender people “surgically mutilated and sterilised”.

She also compared her lobbying to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport to standing up against the Holocaust during a YouTube panel last year.

New South Wales Treasurer and Liberal MP Matt Kean

, but Mr Morrison on Saturday said he would not be heeding such calls.

“I think it’s really important that she has withdrawn those comments, and she has acknowledged they’ve been insensitive,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“I think that is the right way to respect the trans community. I don’t share those sentiments either.”

When asked about her own views, Ms Payne said she does not share those of Ms Deves, but declined several times to answer whether she believes she should be dropped as the Liberal candidate.

“Ultimately, that is a matter for the Liberal Party here in New South Wales,” Ms Payne said.

“But Ms Deves has apologised for those remarks. She has withdrawn those remarks. And that’s the most important thing as she continues as the candidate there in Warringah. She has made that apology clear.”

“But, importantly – in relation to the issue that she has been discussing – I think we need to look at fairness, at safety, and at inclusion in terms of women in sport. This is a discussion we should be having.”

When asked the question again by host David Speers, Ms Payne responded: “I need to get on with my job; that’s what I’m doing. And I don’t agree with the remarks she made. I’ve made that explicitly clear.”

AEC sends postal warning to parties

It comes as political parties were warned against distributing “potentially misleading” postal vote applications to residents.

The Australian Electoral Commission [AEC] has written to political parties and candidates about the issue, amid reports of wrong forms being distributed to voters in one division and the AEC’s purple colour being used on forms in another.

“It’s legal, but it is potentially misleading and we’re concerned,” AEC Commissioner Tom Rogers said in a statement on Saturday.

“While we haven’t seen unauthorised postal vote applications, the use of colour and wording means someone who doesn’t examine the material in detail could mistake it for a piece of AEC communication.”


Mr Rogers said the election mainly involved people voting in person so there was no need for the mass distribution of postal ballots.

He urged those who needed a postal vote for the 21 May election to contact the AEC directly.

“Political parties send postal vote applications to residents every election but the increased variation of channels and wording this election, combined with the environment, is of concern,” he said.

“Our message couldn’t be clearer – vote in person if you can, apply for a postal vote through us if you need one.”

Voters can apply for a postal vote via the AEC’s website, with applications closing on 18 May.

With AAP.

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