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Di Natale takes Hanson-Young out of asylum seeker area

Sarah Hanson-Young said she would never stop fighting for people seeking asylum. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young – a loud voice on asylum-seeker issues – has lost a battle with her leader, Richard Di Natale, to keep her immigration portfolio in the Greens reshuffle.

Hanson-Young said in a statement that she had “fought hard” to retain the post but ultimately it was a decision of the leader.

It is understood Di Natale wants her to campaign on other issues that resonate in her home state of South Australia where the Greens have battled for votes.

The new spokesman will be Tasmanian senator Nick McKim.

Hanson-Young said she was disappointed to have been moved but “I understand that politics is a team game and will work tirelessly in my new senior portfolio areas of education and finance”.

She said she would never stop fighting for people seeking asylum and was proud of the contribution she had made to the debate over the last nine years. “The work of my team in recent years, along with many others, has exposed the systematic abuse of women and children on Nauru and has been central to changing public perception about offshore detention.”

In other moves Tasmanian senator Peter Whish-Wilson becomes treasury spokesman, the member for Melbourne Adam Bandt will be spokesman on climate change, and Victorian senator Janet Rice will have responsibility for marriage equality.

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