New Regional Development Minister Anthony Albanese has “a handle” on the issues affecting rural areas and is the best man for the job, according to Member for New England Tony Windsor.
Mr Albanese replaces Simon Crean in a Cabinet reshuffle, after he called a leadership spill last Thursday that ended with no contender, and himself getting the sack by the Prime Minister.
Mr Windsor told the Namoi Valley Independent yesterday he was pleased about Ms Gillard’s choice, and that he is up to the job.
“In choosing a successor, I would have asked for Albanese. I think he’s got a handle on it. We have a lot to do with him with the Parliamentary stuff.
“But I have great respect for Simon Crean. He’s one of the few members of Parliament at Cabinet level that gets the regional development thing,” Mr Windsor said.
Mr Windsor said he’s happy that Minister Albanese has also picked up responsibility for Local Government, given the possibility of a referendum to financially recognise Local Government in the Constitution.
Gary Gray has been elevated to Minister for Resources to oversee the mining sector.
In the wake of the leadership turmoil last week, Mr Windsor said he is committed to getting on with the job.
The independent MP, who is being called on by the Nationals to withdraw his support for the minority Labor government and force an election, said the leadership debacle “wasn’t a good look,” however it did not make the government “less stable”.
“The instability is being driven internally with Rudd,” Mr Windsor said.
“They’ve taken him out.”
The New England MP said he was only talking to Simon Crean – the man who called the bungled leadership challenge – just half an hour before he made the call for Mr Rudd to challenge Ms Gillard on Thursday afternoon.
“He was disgruntled and he talked about it, but I didn’t realise he was going to do it there and then,” Mr Windsor said.
Just hours later, Mr Rudd did not challenge and Mr Crean was dumped as Regional Development Minister.
Despite the recent developments and predictions Labor cannot recover at the next election, Mr Windsor is determined to get on with his work.
“What they do and the Opposition do is up to them.
“I’m going to make sure the agreement that was signed is delivered.”
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