I am honoured to have been appointed as the Minister for Northern Australia by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
I am excited to be given responsibility for a key element of the Government’s economic agenda. I am also lucky to be gaining responsibility for an area where so much good work has been done, and a solid foundation for a new era of Northern Australian development is ready to be built upon.
I want to pay tribute to the work of Senator Ian Macdonald, Warren Entsch, Andrew Robb, Barnaby Joyce, Warren Truss and Tony Abbott for all of their vision that helped develop the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
There is still much to do and I look forward to working with Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, in helping Northern Australia live up to its enormous potential.
I have said before that our job is to create a kind of “Brisbane line in reverse”. I want an Australia where people want to move to north of the Tropic of Capricorn so they too can benefit from the huge opportunities that are here.
Doing this is important for our whole nation, not just the north. Further growth and development in Northern Australia will help grow the national economy as a whole, and take pressure off our congested capital cities.
I have “walked the walk” myself too, moving my Senate office and my family to Rockhampton. It is a great honour to now be able to represent the people of Northern Australia not just in the Senate but in the Ministry as well.
I also want to thank all of the people of Central Queensland that helped me get elected to the Senate and have supported me in my Senate term so far.
I especially want to thank Michelle Landry, MP for Capricornia, also based in Rockhampton, who has given me enormous assistance and support.
Michelle constantly seeks new and positive ways to put Rocky on the map and I know she has been pushing for a Minister to be based in Rockhampton.
I look forward to working with all Australians to create more opportunity and prosperity throughout the north.