My very dear friend Senator Michael Ronaldson has announced his intention to retire from the Senate.
Michael has served the Parliament of Australia with distinction for 22 years.
Senator Ronaldson was elected to the Senate representing Victoria at the 2004 election and was re-elected in 2010. Prior to that he was the Member for Ballarat – first elected in 1990 and re-elected at every election he contested until his retirement in 2001.
Most recently he served in the Abbott Government as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the centenary of ANZAC and Special Minister of State. In this role Michael worked tirelessly for our veterans and their families.
As a Member of the House of Representatives Michael served as the Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport and Recreation, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training.
Under Prime Minister John Howard he was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Development and after the 1998 election was appointed the Chief Government Whip.
In Opposition Senator Ronaldson was a member of my Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Special Minister of State and Shadow Cabinet Secretary.
After the 2010 election Michael was appointed Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition on the Centenary of ANZAC.
Michael is a superb parliamentarian and is respected for his conviction, his integrity, his passion and his professionalism. With his wealth of experience I’m sure his skills will be highly sought after.
On behalf of the Government and the Liberal Party I thank Michael and his family, especially his wife Cate, for his many years of service to Australia.
Michael and Cate will now have more time to enjoy being grandparents and Lucy and I wish them every happiness.