I am honoured to have been appointed to the Gillard Ministry as Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities, Territories and Road Safety and am extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Regional services is an area in which I have already had experience, including supporting former Minister Simon Crean in my role as Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development in Victoria. I want to acknowledge Mr Crean’s important contribution in the interests of Australia’s regions.
There is a logical connection between regional issues and working with local communities and Australia’s territories. I am pleased the Prime Minister has seen fit to combine them in this portfolio.
One of the great pleasures in being a regional Member of Parliament is working with the energetic and enthusiastic local communities which strive to build their regions as fantastic places to live and work.
While I have had that pleasure locally for 12 years, I am delighted that I will get the chance now to engage with councils and other regional stakeholders across the country on the delivery of services to our regions.
As Parliamentary Secretary I held responsibility for national road safety policy and I am delighted to have retained that in my expanded roles.
I look forward to continuing to work effectively in partnership with my colleague the Minister for Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, as I have done during the past two and a half years as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport.
I would like to thank the people of Ballarat and region for the confidence they have placed in me since I was first elected in 2001. Without that support I would not have this honour and opportunity today.
I also want to particularly thank my family for their love, care and support.
I undertake to continue my hard work for this region and the good people who call it home, while carrying out my important national duties.