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Prime Minister of Australia

Media Release

Parliamentary Secretaries

25 February 2009

I am pleased to announce that Her Excellency the Governor-General has agreed to the following changes to the Ministry.

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Government Service Delivery within the Prime Minister’s portfolio.

The Hon Greg Combet AM MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change. Mr Combet’s previous responsibility for defence procurement will be assumed by the Minister for Defence.

Mr Combet is a former coal mining engineer and has an economics degree. In his time as ACTU secretary, Mr Combet was involved in complex industrial negotiations, including fighting for justice for the James Hardie asbestos victims, and developed good links with business which will serve him well in the Climate Change portfolio.

The Hon Mike Kelly AM MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Water, in addition to his duties as Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support.

As the Member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Kelly has seen firsthand the water challenges facing the country. Dr Kelly will work on these challenges in consultation with stakeholders to develop and implement innovative policy solutions to ensure Australia’s water sustainability into the future.

The Hon Bill Shorten MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction. Mr Shorten will help with the rebuilding of the lives, homes and communities which have been devastated by these tragic fires.

Mr Shorten will continue to drive the development of a National Disability Strategy to support carers of adults with disability, positively promote employment and improve early intervention services for children with disability in his role as Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services.

The Hon Anthony Byrne MP has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade in addition to his duties as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. Mr Byrne’s additional responsibilities are a reflection of the significant contribution he has made to the Government in his current role.

Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens will soon be sworn in to administer the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to better reflect her duties as Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector.

As foreshadowed last week, the Hon John Murphy MP has stepped down as Parliamentary Secretary to the Trade Minister. I thank him again for his service.

Other Ministerial arrangements remain unchanged.

A printable version of the Ministry List is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

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