After taking over the immigration portfolio from Chris Evans in September 2010 from, Chris Bowen has officially resigned from his position as minister for Immigration and Citizenship. Taking on a new position as minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and Small Business Chris Bowen will no take on an entirely new role within the Australian labour party.
It has been a great honour to serve as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for the last two-and-a-half years.
The portfolio has been a challenging and rewarding experience, and I have been fortunate to work with and alongside some very knowledgeable, passionate and caring people at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. I thank them all for their advice, dedication and hard work.
I take pride in our substantial reforms to skilled migration and the increase in our humanitarian intake to 20 000 places. We’ve also made progress on important regional agreements to break the people smuggling trade.
I wish Brendan O’Connor, whom I worked closely with in his time as Home Affairs Minister, all the very best in his new role.
It is with excitement that I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges of Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and Small Business.
Labor has a lot to be proud of in delivering outstanding reforms in these areas, especially in skills training and higher education, that have delivered more opportunities for Australians to earn the qualifications and skills to make a valuable contribution.
It is vital that we continue to equip our young people with the tools to get higher skilled and higher paid jobs – a key focus of any Labor government. This is a challenge I look forward to taking on, especially as it applies to Western Sydney.
Small business is an important priority for the Prime Minister and the government. I have previously enjoyed working to reduce regulatory and tax burdens on small business, including establishing a Small Business Superannuation Clearing House.
I look forward to working with these important sectors and continuing the achievements of recent years.
I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the contribution and achievements of my Ministerial and Cabinet colleagues Senator Chris Evans and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon. I wish them all the very best for the future.