STATEMENT REGARDING PORTFOLIO CHANGES
Date: 15 December 2011
Yesterday I was privileged to be sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary for Defence.
Throughout 2011 I have enjoyed serving in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many members of Australia’s farming and fishing communities with whom I have met and spoken to in the past year.
One of my aims in the portfolio was to get out and speak directly to farmers and fishers and to provide a conduit for their views to government. I know that speaking to people on the ground is so important for understanding the real issues affecting them. A government cannot formulate policy in a vacuum, and it is through giving communities a voice that we can really make a difference.
The farmers and fishers in my own region of Eden-Monaro have played a big part in keeping me close to these issues, and I will continue to take a deep interest in this area of policy on their behalf. Rural and regional communities have special dynamics and circumstances, and it is important that government understands what these communities need.
I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to return to the Defence portfolio, and look forward to working with Minister Stephen Smith on the Afghanistan transition.
The mission in Afghanistan has been challenging, but our troops on the ground have made significant progress in Uruzgan Province. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a further contribution to making their way easier, getting them home as soon as possible and as safely as possible. I am also extremely conscious of the need to ensure the success of their endeavours for our nation and our region.
I am looking forward to once again working with the men and women of the Australian Defence Force, who are deserving of our support and commitment.