BALLARAT MP Catherine King is looking forward to tackling her new role as Minister for Regional Services.
Ms King accepted the appointment on Monday after a reshuffle of the ministry by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Ms King will take on the portfolio of Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories, as well as becoming Minister for Road Safety.
Ms King said she was delighted to have the opportunity to engage with councils and other regional stakeholders across the country.
“As Parliamentary Secretary I held responsibility for national road safety policy and I am delighted to have retained that in my expanded roles,” she said.
“I look forward to continuing to work effectively in partnership with the Minister for Regional Development Anthony Albanese, as I have done during the past two and a half years as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport.”
Ms King thanked the public for their support since she was first elected in 2001.
“I also want to particularly thank my family for their love, care and support,” she said.
“I undertake to continue my hard work for this region and the good people who call it home, while carrying out my important national duties.”
Speaking to The Courier after the announcement, Ms King said her experience in regional development policy would stand her in good stead for the expanded role.
She nominated the different economic conditions across regional Australia as a big issue.
“Some are booming, others are in transition and have different needs,” she said.
Infrastructure is key for regional development, said Ms King, as well as community leadership.
“I’m interested in hearing and seeing good models across the country and how then government can support those.”
When asked if the extra travel and work required in the new role would diminish her support for Ballarat, Ms King said it went both ways.
“Obviously I need to get out and about in other regions,” she said.
“But also it is a great opportunity to sell my own region and take the lessons from what works in our area.”
Catherine King is sworn in by the Governer General.
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