Thursday, 27 June 2013
by leave—For the information of senators, the following additional representable roles are added to the government senators' duties in the Senate. I advise the Senate that I am the new Leader of the Government in the Senate and the Minister representing the Prime Minister, and will also take questions on Public Service integrity and on social inclusion. Senator the Hon. Bob Carr will take questions on sustainability, environment, water, population and communities, the Attorney-General's portfolio, emergency management and justice. Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy will take questions on broadband, communications and the digital economy, infrastructure, transport and road safety. Senator the Hon. Don Farrell will take questions on agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and resources and energy. Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas will take questions on regional development and local government, and on mental health reform. Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins is the new Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and will remain in her position as Manager of Government Business in the Senate. Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy will act in the Manager of Government Business role for the sitting tomorrow. I have written to leaders of the parties in the Senate of these changes.
I also want to take, if the Senate will forgive me, just a short period to acknowledge the contribution of my predecessor, Senator Stephen Conroy. Senator Conroy is a man of great Labor heart, and he has made, and will continue to make, a great contribution in this place. I regret that our work together as a leadership team was as short as it was and thank him for his service as Leader of the Government in the Senate.
by leave—I congratulate Senator Wong and Senator Collins on their election as leader and deputy leader respectively of the government in this place. I also acknowledge the role of Senator Conroy, who was Senator Wong's predecessor. He was a worthy opponent. I enjoyed our chitchat across the table when others were shouting over us from time to time and I look forward, albeit I do not know for how long, Senator Wong, to us being able to engage in that as well. I also acknowledge the role of Senator Ludwig. Politics is a tough game—a brutal game—from time to time, and, for those who do suffer as a result of that, I just wish them all the best personally. If I may, I might be as droll as to observe that a man in a blue tie got rid of a female prime minister but note that, in this place, a female replaces a man with a blue tie. But we wish them all the best.
by leave—I, too, add my congratulations to Senator Wong in her new position and also to Senator Collins. I also acknowledge the work and contribution of those who have served on the front bench here in the Senate under Prime Minister Gillard, and look forward to an orderly transition at the end of this week to an election before the end of September.