NSW health minister Jillian Skinner’s retirement news comes week after Mike Baird’s resignation and as new premier Gladys Berejiklian considers reshuffle
The New South Wales health minister, Jillian Skinner, has announced her retirement from politics, only a week after Mike Baird’s surprise resignation as premier.
“Today I announce my intention to retire from politics,” she said. Skinner did not give a concrete reason for her decision, only saying “a new chapter beckons” and it had been a great privilege to represent the people of North Shore in the parliament.
Mrs Skinner, 71, made the announcement this morning just days after Premier Gladys Berejiklian moved into the top spot in parliament.
“I am naturally sad to be leaving the portfolio I love. However, a new chapter beckons and I am looking forward to the challenges of life outside politics.”
Mrs Skinner has been in Parliament since 1994 and served as the opposition health spokeswoman for 14 years before being appointed minister after the 2011 election.
“I have dedicated most of the years since 1995, when I was first appointed shadow minister for health, to improving the health services that we all need and rely upon,” she said.
Jillian Skinner decided to quit politics after she was asked to give up her portfolio, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says. This is despite Ms Berejiklian saying that Mrs Skinner had been invited to remain part of “the team” – understood to be a reference to her taking a more junior portfolio.
The retirement is a blow for Ms Berejiklian, who now faces at least two byelections within months – one in Mrs Skinner’s seat and another in Manly following the retirement of her predecessor, Mike Baird.
“I am deeply disappointed my friend, mentor and colleague Jillian Skinner has announced her retirement,” Ms Berejiklian said.