Former Whyalla local Gary Gray has been thrust into the spotlight this week when the special minister of state for Western Australia was elevated to federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Tourism and Small Business.
In a federal cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Mr Gray’s new appointment was announced by Ms Gillard on Monday.
The move came after four ministers were stood down from an internal leadership spill.
Mr Gray attended Whyalla High School during his time here and went on to work for the then BHP Billiton.
He left Whyalla in 1981 to pursuing tertiary education gaining a degree in economics and later moved to Western Australia to study education.
A former executive with oil and gas company Woodside before his election to parliament in 2007, the resource sector has applauded Mr Gray’s appointment.
With a sound background in various resource industry roles, peak national employer group Australian Mines and Metals Association said Mr Gray was highly regarded by the sector.
As for questions about the current Labor government’s controversial mining tax which Whyalla has still yet to see the full effects off, Mr Gray has ruled out any changes to this.
With his mother still based locally, Mr Gray regularly returns to Whyalla and there are hopes that he will take an interest in our city which continues to be touted as a major area of growth.
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