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Anderson welcomes chance to take on Transport and Regional Services Portfolio.

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Media Release


John Anderson

Minister for Primary Industries and Energy






National Party Deputy Leader John Anderson today said he was delighted to have the chance to take on the highly important and expanded role of Minister for Transport and Regional Services.


“Transport is a vital cog in the Australian economy and I am looking forward to continuing the work towards developing a fully integrated, efficient and competitive transport system for the nation,” Mr Anderson said.


He said he was excited by being given the responsibility for an upgraded rural and regional development and services effort by the Government; a need that has been clearly recognised by the Coalition and highlighted by the recent election.


“I have been convinced for some time that the Government needs to adopt a more integrated approach to improving the standard of living and quality of life of people in rural and regional Australia.


“I see this as one of the great challenges of the second Howard/Fischer Government.”


Mr Anderson said that during the election campaign, the Government had announced a range of significant new programs to improve rural and regional services in areas such as health and communications, as well as the new Rural Transaction Centres.


“The Government has demonstrated its commitment to addressing the concerns of country people about the decline in services and I am looking forward to playing a coordinating role in this effort.”


Mr Anderson said he welcomed the appointment of Mark Vaile as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in a reshaped primary industries portfolio.


“While these are difficult times for many of our rural industries, Mark is a highly capable Minister and I am sure he will get across the issues very quickly and rise to the challenge. I wish him well.”


Mr Anderson said he was honoured to have been Minister for Primary Industries and Energy and proud of the contribution he had made to the sector during two and a half years.


“We achieved a great deal during this period; sorting out the Budgetary mess inherited from Labor through some tough decisions by the Expenditure Review Committee, of which I was a member, as well as making many beneficial reforms in the farm sector.


“We delivered the “Agriculture - Advancing Australia” package, backed by increased funding, established the $1.25 billion Natural Heritage Trust, rejuvenated our quarantine system, got red meat inspection reforms rolling, developed the Action Plan for Australian Agriculture and achieved real reforms for commodities such as red meat, wool and wheat, putting them on a more commercial, market focused footing.”


Mr Anderson said the Action Plan for Australian Agriculture recognised that the real gains for farmers needed to be achieved beyond the farm gate by achieving greater efficiency and competitiveness in sectors such as manufacturing, handling and transport.


“I am pleased to now be in a position to more directly drive change beyond the farm gate and I am very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”


18 October 1998


Media contact: Stephen Oxley on (0419) 480681