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Payne sets new mark as longest-serving woman in parliament


Cabinet minister Marise Payne has become the longest-serving female senator in Australian history and the longest continuing serving female member of federal parliament.

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Senator Payne first came to parliament in 1997, filling a vacancy when former senator Bob Woods resigned.

She has since overseen key portfolios including defence and is currently foreign affairs minister and minister for women.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the NSW senator’s parliamentary service.

“I think (her tenure) is an enormous encouragement to all women of this country and young girls in this country,” he said in parliament.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese also congratulated Senator Payne on her achievement and said she had a good relationship with people on both sides of the chamber.

He said he has known Senator Payne since well before they both entered parliament, when he was president of NSW Young Labor and she was president of the NSW Young Liberals.

“Increasingly we will see women break records, that’s a good thing. We need to be more representative of the population and it should be reflecting of Australian society, which is 50-50 after all,” Albanese told parliament.

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