Senior minister has high praise for Downer1 min read

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Senior minister has high praise for Downer

Australian Associated Press

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says Georgina Downer, the Liberal blue blood candidate in Mayo, is a potential future political star capable of “anything in Australia”.

He was campaigning with Ms Downer in Strathalbyn, south of Adelaide, on Tuesday for the byelection in the seat her father Alexander held for 24 years.

“If we’re lucky enough to get her across the line, she could be not only a cabinet minister but anything in Australia,” Mr Hunt said.

He made the comments at a mental health forum where he announced a $1.17 million boost to service in rural and regional South Australia.

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The funding will help mental health services in areas such as Kangaroo Island, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the hills region.

“It will expand on tailored mental health support for about 1300 people living with mental illness.”

Mr Hunt’s foray into the Mayo heartland, ahead of the July 28 by-election, follows a string of visits and announcements from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other high profile ministers including Julie Bishop, Michaelia Cash, Michael McCormack and Simon Birmingham.

The seat was held by the Liberal Party from its 1984 creation until it was won by Rebekha Sharkie for the Nick Xenophon Team at the 2016 election.

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Ms Sharkie, now a member of the Centre Alliance, was forced to resign earlier this year after she became embroiled in the federal parliament’s dual-citizenship saga.

Mr Hunt also announced $6.1 million to fund new research projects at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

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