Member for Ryan (Qld)
Leonie Short became the Australian Labor Party member for Ryan (Qld) when she unexpectedly entered the House of Representatives at a by-election in March 2001. Short won the safe Liberal seat with a swing of 9.81 per cent, winning by 255 votes. She left Parliament in November the same year after she was unable to hold the seat at the general elections.
Short’s father was a GP and she herself was a dental health practitioner prior to entering Parliament. With this background, Short spoke about health issues in her brief time in Parliament, supporting legislation that would encourage the training of general practitioners and their work in rural areas. She also spoke about the need for greater access to dental care and the problems this caused for everyday Australians. The issue of aged care nursing homes and the lack of incentives and appropriate pay conditions for aged care nurses was another concern.
After leaving Parliament Short became the first academic appointed to the Griffith University dental school.