I am honoured to be appointed the Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Shadow Minister Assisting for Climate Change, and Shadow Minister Assisting for Defence.
I thank Labor Leader Anthony Albanese for the trust he has placed in me by allocating these important portfolios to me.
With my colleagues Senator Penny Wong, Richard Marles and Mark Butler, I look forward to holding the Morrison Government to account in these three policy areas, which are enormously challenging and inexorably linked. Fighting climate change is an issue of international and intergenerational equity, and our closest neighbours in the Pacific deserve our support and leadership.
With Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong, I look forward to advancing our agenda to engage with other nations in the Pacific as part of our efforts to foster and preserve peace, prosperity, stability and security in the region, efforts that are fundamental to Australia’s own national security.
Australia has a deep interest in contributing to global poverty alleviation, but Coalition governments have abandoned our commitment to aid funding and slashed our International Development Assistance Budget, which is a source of international embarrassment for Australia and at odds with the generous spirit of Australian people. With Senator Wong, I will work to ensure Australia contributes more to international development assistance, and that more of that assistance gets to the people who need it most.
In the previous Labor Opposition I was Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, helping develop Labor’s Just Transitions Policy, and $1.1 billion National Hydrogen Strategy. I look forward to continuing to work with Mark Butler in this important policy area and I thank him for the trust and generosity he has shown me.
In the area of defence, it’s a pleasure to return to a policy area I am familiar with having worked as principal policy adviser and deputy chief of staff to former Member for Charlton Greg Combet, when he was Minister for Personnel, Materiel and Science in the Rudd-Gillard Labor Governments. During this time I had the honour of contributing to Labor’s defence industry policy, the establishment of the ‘Projects of Concern’ process and the Mortimer Procurement reforms, which were the most substantial reforms to defence procurement in a generation.
I look forward to working with Labor Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, and the rest of the defence team.
I congratulate Anthony Albanese on his election as Leader of the Opposition. He is an outstanding parliamentarian and the best person to take the fight up to Scott Morrison.
The election result was a blow for Labor supporters and the many millions of people who depend upon Labor governments.
I believe Labor can win the next election, and we must win the next election.
I look forward to working with all my Labor colleagues as we listen and learn over the next three years.
I will also continue to strongly represent my constituents in the electorate of Shortland as I have for the past three years.
I thank the electorate for having faith in me to continue to assist them with federal matters and to be their advocate in Canberra.