Jenny Macklin has announced her retirement from politics. Picture: Alan Barber
Jenny Macklin has announced her retirement from politics. Picture: Alan Barber

ALP veteran Macklin retires from politics

FORMER Rudd and Gillard government minister Jenny Macklin has announced she is retiring from federal politics.

The veteran Labor MP has held the Melbourne seat of Jagajaga for 22 years, and was Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for six years and Minister for Disability Reform for two years.

"As the longest serving Labor woman in the House of Representatives, ever, 'It's Time', as Gough so famously said, for me to move on," Ms Macklin said in a statement on Friday.

Jenny Macklin (right) with then PM Julia Gillard in 2011.
Jenny Macklin (right) with then PM Julia Gillard in 2011.

"It's also time for the next generation. Although I still want to contribute to policy debates, it's time for me to step back."

While she will be departing parliament, Ms Macklin will not be stepping back from public policy or public life.

"I will continue to do all I can for my local community and to be an advocate for a more equal Australia," she said.

Elected to the north-east Melbourne seat of Jagajaga in 1996, Ms Macklin, 64, went on to serve as deputy Labor leader to Kim Beazley.

Macklin 2003, when she served as deputy leader to Simon Crean (centre). Mark Latham (left) would go on to become Labor’s next leader, albeit briefly. Picture: Ray Strange
Macklin 2003, when she served as deputy leader to Simon Crean (centre). Mark Latham (left) would go on to become Labor’s next leader, albeit briefly. Picture: Ray Strange


She served as Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs for six years and Minister for Disability Reform for two years. "Every political party in Australia wishes they had a Jenny Macklin," Labor leader Bill Shorten said on Friday.

"But only Labor has been blessed with her extraordinary mind, her caring heart and her fearless love of the good fight. How lucky we have been."

Macklin on the campaign trail in Jagajaga, February 1996. Her entry into federal politics coincided with the arrival of the Howard government.
Macklin on the campaign trail in Jagajaga, February 1996. Her entry into federal politics coincided with the arrival of the Howard government.


Tony Burke one of the first senior Labor figures to give credit to her.

"If I were asked who had been the most significant contributor to Labor Policy for the last twenty years the answer is obvious: Jenny Macklin. No matter where they lived, disadvantaged Australians have always had a champion in Jenny," he said.