Today, the Hon Marise Payne has announced that she will retire from the Senate on 30 September.
I take this opportunity to thank Marise for her principled and commendable service to the people of New South Wales and all Australians over 26 years.
In her maiden speech, Marise said “I began my political life with the view that as a young Australian I had a responsibility to become involved; to make a contribution if I wished to have a say in the future of my country.”
Marise has made a grand contribution to our nation and shaped it for the better.
In her many years of service, Marise has steered economic, social and national security policy development.
Most notably, as the Minister for Defence and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise helped guide our nation through a period of significant change in our strategic environment which put a greater emphasis on defence deterrence and diplomacy than any time since the end of the Second World War.
When Marise was the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I was honoured to work with her as the Minister for Defence to establish the AUKUS partnership.
Marise’s diplomatic engagement ensured our bilateral and multilateral relationships were nurtured and strengthened during the COVID-19 pandemic when travel was prohibited. Our Alliance with the United States, Quad partnership and engagement with our Pacific neighbours is in such a strong position today thanks to Marise’s commitment and hard work in the most testing and difficult of circumstances.
I also want to acknowledge Marise’s role as the Minister for Women. Marise has been instrumental in supporting women across Australia – especially in the areas of economic security and safety – and mentoring young women into leadership positions within the Liberal Party.
Testimony to her experience, achievements and gravitas, I appointed Marise to the position of Shadow Cabinet Secretary. Her work and leadership in that role has been admired across our party room.
For more than 20 years, Marise has not only been a wonderful colleague, she has also been a dear friend – someone who engages in the battle of ideas in the great Liberal Party tradition.
I wish Marise a wonderful retirement. And I know that in the next phase of her career, she will continue to do brilliant and bold things for our nation in the best interests of the Australian people.
8 September 2023