The Member for Brighton, Louise Asher
The Member for Brighton, Louise Asher, today officially announced that she will retire from State Parliament at the 2018 election.
” In 2018, I will have been a Member of Parliament for 26 years. I believe it is time for generational change in the State Parliamentary party and, by me stepping down, I will create an opportunity for a younger, and new Member for Brighton to enter the Parliament.”
“It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been elected by my colleagues as Deputy Leader of the Liberal party for 11 1/2 years. I am also delighted to have served on the front bench for 18 years.”
Among Ms Asher’s career highlights are:
• Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party (1999 to 2002; 2006 to 2014);
• Minister for Small Business and Tourism (1996 to 1999);
• Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, Minister for Tourism and Major Events (Minister for Employment and Trade) – (2010 to 2014);
• Leader of the House (Leader of Government Business) (2013 to 2014);
• Various shadow ministries,(1999 to 2010) including Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Major Projects, Shadow Minister for Industry, Shadow Minister for Water, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Shadow Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation, Shadow Minister for Finance;
• Co-chaired the policy review group, which co-ordinated the Coalition’s winning policies for the 2010 election;
• Spearheaded Victoria’s significant tourism achievements, driving increased visitation in domestic and international tourism;
• Led Victoria’s international engagement strategy from 2010 to 2014, overseeing Victoria’s trade mission programme to China, India, the Middle East and South East Asia, which yielded $4.8 billion of export opportunities to participating businesses;
• Was awarded the Ashoka Medal, recognising her contribution to the relationship between Victoria and India;
• Maintained and secured a range of Victoria’s major events;
• Substantially reformed Victoria’s liquor laws;
• Rewrote retail tenancies legislation;
• Secured the passage of legislation to make it easier for the film industry to obtain permits to film;
• Effectively performed as Shadow Minister for Major Projects, with Labor’s failure to deliver projects on time and within budget being a major campaign issue for the Liberal Party at the 2006 state election;
• Played a major role in re-negotiating the Coalition agreement with the National Party prior to the winning 2010 election;
• First woman to be elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in Victoria;
• First woman to take on the role of Leader of the House, otherwise known as Leader of Government Business;
• First Liberal woman to be appointed as a minister in the Legislative Council in Victoria; and
• Locally, secured funding for Brighton Secondary College and for the re-opening of the New Street railway gates.
Ms Asher was first elected to the Victorian Parliament in 1992, as the Member for Monash Province in the Legislative Council, and moved to the Legislative Assembly seat of Brighton in 1999. She joined the Liberal Party in 1976 and was the first woman president of the Young Liberals in 1982.
Ms Asher emphasized that she looked forward to serving as the Member for Brighton until the end of the parliamentary term in November 2018 and to continuing in her role as the Chair of the Electoral Matters Committee.
Ms Asher thanked the constituents of Brighton for electing her, her Liberal Party branch members in the Brighton electorate for their wonderful support, her Parliamentary colleagues and her many staff who had assisted her over the years.
Ms Asher also thanked her husband, the Honourable Ron Best, a former National Party Member of the Victorian Parliament, for his forbearance of her time away from home and for his love and support.
Ms Asher said that she was deeply grateful for the opportunities that Parliamentary life had given to her but that she also looked forward to a new phase in her life in from 2018.
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