The Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard today welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister of changes to the Ministry.The elevation of Brendan O'Connor to Minister for Home Affairs is recognition of the difficult policy reform work he has done in the Employment Participation portfolio.Brendan O’Connor has done an outstanding job in the establishment of an employment services system that will serve the nation well in these difficult days of the global recession.It is a credit to Brendan O'Connor that Jobs Services Australia will be at the forefront of the nation's recovery and greater workplace participation in the future.The Government has identified the reform of Early Childhood Education and Child Care as a key productivity reform.
The high quality policy development work undertaken by Maxine McKew will be taken forward to the Council of Australian Governments in July. Maxine has created a solid foundation of reform on which the nation will build.
The contributions of Brendan O'Connor and Maxine McKew to the Rudd Government's productivity reform agenda cannot be overstated.
I congratulate Brendan on his promotion and thank him for the work he has done in Employment Participation.
I thank Maxine for her work in a policy area largely untouched in the past by a Federal Government and wish her well in her challenging new role.
I am delighted to be joined by Senator Mark Arbib and Jason Clare in delivering on the Government's commitment to continue supporting jobs today and preparing for the jobs of the future.
I welcome the appointment of Senator Mark Arbib to the Employment Participation portfolio. Mark will bring to the task intelligence, dedication, compassion for unemployed Australians and experience in the delivery of critical nation building initiatives.
Jason Clare has already demonstrated his ability to work in partnership with local communities bearing the brunt of the global recession.
I look forward to working with Jason Clare as Parliamentary Secretary for Employment. Jason will focus on helping communities come out of the global recession stronger and even more resilient.
I also welcome the fact that Kate Ellis will continue as Minister for Youth and take on Early Childhood Education and Child Care. The elevation of Early Childhood Education and Child Care to the Ministry reflects the Government's commitment to the early years.
Kate has already shown herself to be hard working and highly competent Minister and I look forward to working with her as she takes on this new challenging role.