Australia

Greg Hunt gives tearful farewell address to Parliament after 20 years

On the last sitting day of the year, Mr Hunt read a letter he had received from the mother of a girl who had what appeared to be a terminal case of liver fibrosis.

Mr Hunt had sought a life-saving treatment from overseas for the little girl, named Bella.

Greg Hunt giving his farewell address to Parliament. (Alex Ellinghausen)

“We are overwhelmed with her response to the infusions she started two months ago,” Mr Hunt said, reading the letter from the mother.

“She is a changed little girl, most notable she is no longer in constant pain, she has started to build muscle and she has boundless new energy.”

Mr Hunt then gave an update on Bella’s health.

“She has just turned nine,” he said.

“They just enrolled her in gymnastics and football and cross-country.

“If there had been nothing else in the last 20 years that alone would have been enough.”

Greg Hunt is given a standing ovation after his farewell speech.
Greg Hunt is given a standing ovation after his farewell speech. (Alex Ellinghausen)

He was farewelled with a standing ovation from both sides of the chamber.

Mr Hunt has served as the Liberal member for the Victorian electorate of Flinders for 20 years, after being first elected in 2001.

He has been Health Minister since 2017.

Mr Hunt was brought to tears by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s tribute.

Greg Hunt sheds a tear as Scott Morrison pays tribute to him.
Greg Hunt sheds a tear as Scott Morrison pays tribute to him. (Nine)

“Your father, mate, he would be so proud,” Mr Morrison said.

“I pray it will be a great time of blessing being with your family and I look forward to our friendship in the many, many years to come.”

“Thank you for honouring this place, thank you for honouring our party, thank you for honouring your family, and thank you for honouring yourself in the way you have conducted yourself.”

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese described Mr Hunt as a “worthy opponent”.

“Being health minister in a global pandemic would have brought enormous challenges, not the least of which would have been the time you spent away from your family.

Josh Frydenberg hugs Greg Hunt after the latter's retirement speech.
Josh Frydenberg hugs Greg Hunt after the latter’s retirement speech. (Alex Ellinghausen)

“All the best, on behalf of everyone on my team, on behalf of the Australian Labor Party.”

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