Statement on the retirement of Robert McClelland
I would like to pay public tribute to the extensive career of public service of Robert McClelland who has served with distinction as both a federal member of Parliament and as a reforming Attorney General of Australia.
Robert McClelland helped bring Labor to victory in 2007 as my successor as Shadow Foreign Minister. He has been a friend of mine for a number of years and he will be missed in the Parliament. As a former Prime Minister and Leader of the Labor Party I thank Robert for his contribution to the Party and the Government.
In his four years as Attorney General he implemented some of the government’s key reforms including the removal of discrimination against same sex couples in 85 pieces of Commonwealth legislation. These reforms have materially changed life opportunities for same sex couples for the better.
Robert also through the Attorney General’s portfolio implemented a number of measures to strengthen our national security and intelligence operations and to improve Australia’s counter terrorism capabilities.
I am pleased that Robert has indicated he intends to continue to participate in the national public debate as a former Attorney General it is important that he does so.
The people of Barton have been well served by Robert’s work over the last 17 years. I wish him, his wife Michelle and his family all the best for the next 17 years and beyond.