Jul 1, 2013

Statement of new appointments

It is an honour to be appointed Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

I thank the Prime Minister and my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me.

As part of my expanded portfolio, I will have Ministerial responsibility for the National Broadband Network which will transform the way we learn and teach, improve access to health services and change the way we do business.

This is a logical extension of my current responsibilities as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and will ensure a strong focus on the nation building infrastructure we need to drive productivity in the 21st century.

Federal Labor has a strong track record when it comes to renewing and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. In addition to establishing Infrastructure Australia, we are upgrading 7,500 kilometres of road, rebuilding more than 4,000 kilometres of the Interstate Rail Network and investing more in public transport infrastructure than all our predecessors since Federation combined.

I want to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor Senator Stephen Conroy, who has passionately held the Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy portfolio from day one. I look forward to building on his record of achievements.

The task now is to secure a third term not for the sake of itself but to entrench and build on Federal Labor’s landmark reforms.