7 December 2023

Further demotion for Jeremy Hanson as Canberra Liberals announce new shadow cabinet

| Claire Fenwicke
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Elizabeth Lee, MLA.

Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee has announced some shock shake-ups in her shadow cabinet. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The shake-up at the Canberra Liberals continues, with former deputy leader Jeremy Hanson now relegated to the backbench.

It’s been suggested Mr Hanson’s conservative lean and “ratbaggery” were reasons behind his demotion earlier this week, and now he’s lost the education, police and veterans’ affairs portfolios.

The Liberals’ new shadow cabinet will be made up of seven members. Mr Hanson and Elizabeth Kikkert will serve on the backbench.

Ms Kikkert had previously held the shadow families, youth and community services, prevention of domestic and family violence, corrections and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander portfolios.

However, she’s also lost all of those.

Mr Hanson or Ms Kikkert also won’t be picking up shadow assistant minister positions.

It remains to be seen how this will impact on their committee spots.

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Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee will take on education – on top of already being shadow treasurer and holding the shadow portfolios for climate action, energy and emissions reduction, economic development, tourism and major projects.

James Milligan will add police to his emergency services portfolio, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

Families, youth and community services, and prevention of domestic and family violence will go to Leanne Castley on top of her already hefty workload as shadow health minister and deputy leader, while Mark Parton will take on corrections.

Nicole Lawder has kept all her portfolios and added veterans’ affairs to her list. However, as she’s not contesting the next election, assistant shadow ministers have also been appointed to all of her portfolios.

The only Opposition ministers who have had nothing change are Peter Cain and Ed Cocks.

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Ms Lee said the new-look shadow cabinet would essentially make up the team that would serve the community under a Lee Canberra Liberals government.

“I know every member of this team is committed and determined to win government in October 2024,” she said.

“All members of the Shadow Cabinet team are united and have demonstrated throughout this term that they will work tirelessly in the best interests of the community.

“I have assembled a team that I can trust to put forward a strong alternate vision for Canberra as we head towards the election next year.”

Ms Lee said while Mr Hanson and Ms Kikkert would not serve on the shadow cabinet, she insisted they would still be “important members” of the Canberra Liberals party room.

“[They] will no doubt continue to be strong voices for their communities in their electorates,” she said.

“With less than a year until the election, my team and I look forward to continuing to have positive conversations with the community as we put forward our vision for a better Canberra.”

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GrumpyGrandpa6:55 pm 07 Dec 23

Ms Lee must really think Mr Hanson and Ms Kikkert are on the nose, if she has dumped them both and reallocated their shadow portfolios.

In particular, I find adding Vet Affairs, to retiring member Nicole Lawder’s existing portfolios surprising. Wouldn’t you want to go into an election with shadow portfolios being held by people who were likely to be returned?

The Chief must be lapping this all up. Opposition’s need to show stability and credibility and dumping shadow ministers less than 12 months before an election is crazy, in my opinion.

My prediction is that unless Ms Lee wins government, which history would suggest is unlikely,
Mr Hanson will be challenging for the Leadership.

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