Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, today labelled the Abbott Government’s decision to revoke the appointment of Steve Bracks AC as Australian Consul General in New York as an insult to a fine Australian.
“Here in Ballarat we are entitled to be proud that one of our favourite sons has risen to such an important diplomatic level through his dedication and success in public life,” Ms King said.
“I didn’t notice Liberal Party members here in Ballarat handing out how-to-vote cards on Saturday and saying ‘we will sack Bracks’, but that is what has happened and this is the first decision the Abbott Government has made.
“While it is a real shame that this decision could be so petty and vindictive, it should not surprise anyone and is typical of the way we can all expect this Government to act.”
Ms King said there are many examples of where previous Labor Governments have honoured appointments made by Liberal Governments when administrations change.
“These appointments should be above politics, but it is clear now that the Abbott Government intends to be as nasty as we knew it would be if elected.
“Mr Bracks is ideally qualified for the role to which he was appointed by our Government and is entitled to feel aggrieved at his treatment.
“Not only is he a former successful Premier of Victoria, he is also a respected Australian businessman who has held senior positions in foreign affairs, finance and superannuation and would have played a central role in Australia-New York business growth,” Ms King said.
Mr Bracks has also held honorary positions as Adviser to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmo, Director at the Bionics Institute of Australia Board, and Honorary Chair for the Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University.
He has previously served as Chairman of the superannuation fund Cbus, Chair of the Industry Superannuation Network, a Director of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Australia, a non-Executive Director of the Bank of Sydney, and a Member of the National Australia Bank’s Philanthropic Board. He was a Senior Adviser to KPMG from 2007 to 2012.