07 January 2013

It is an honour and a privilege to serve in Prime Minister Rudds Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

I look forward to working towards the re-election of the Labor Government as part of the new team. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sectors are critical to Australias future economic success and particularly critical to the so many regional economies. I look forward to working with the many stakeholders to make this industry stronger and to position Australia to take advantage of our unique position: close to Asia and rich in natural resources.

As the representative for the Hunter region, I have always been passionate about regional Australia. This appointment provides me with significant new opportunities to make a difference.

I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity and look forward to the exciting challenges ahead.