Carr Appointment Praised by Aid Agencies
6 March 2012 at 9:50 am
Australia’s International Aid Agencies have welcomed the appointment of former NSW Premier, Bob Carr as the new Foreign Minister in the Gillard Government’s new Ministerial line- up.
Prime Minister Gillard announced that Bob Carr will join the Senate, and will take on the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs in her controversial Cabinet re-shuffle announced last week. Until Carr takes his place in the Senate, Craig Emerson is continuing to act as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
International development agency Oxfam Australia says it is looking forward to working with Carr on key issues in his portfolio area including the growing aid program and Australia’s efforts to help fight poverty around the world.
The agency also congratulated Richard Marles for his new responsibilities as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
Oxfam Australia’s executive director Andrew Hewett said it was positive to hear that Bob Carr will build on the achievements of the former minister Kevin Rudd, including a commitment to pursuing a seat on the UN Security Council.
“Succeeding in the bid for an Australian seat at this table, the inner sanctum of the most powerful body of the UN, is important and it is pleasing to hear the new minister will not shy away from this.”
Oxfam says the new minister will also have the important job of overseeing the growth and reform of Australia’s overseas aid program.
“Carr will be the effective guardian of the bipartisan agreement to increase Australia’s foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of national income,” Hewett said.
“As guardian, the new minister must take on the reform of the aid program that was started by John Howard in 2004, and continued with the recent independent review of Australia’s aid program under Mr Rudd.”
Oxfam says another priority for Carr will be to oversee Australia’s commitment to helping achieve the Millennium Development Goals – global goals to halve the number of people living in poverty – as the 2015 deadline fast approaches.
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello also welcomed the appointment of Bob Carr and thanked the outgoing Minister, Kevin Rudd, for his commitment to eradicating poverty and improving the lives of the world’s poor.
Costello said he was particularly pleased to hear Carr identify the Asia-Pacific region as an immediate priority once he assumes the role of Foreign Minister.
“Despite the hard work of the government and organisations like World Vision, there is still significant poverty in our region,” Costello said. “More than 7 million children die each year around the world, most from preventable causes and more than three million of them are in Asia."
“We also have a special responsibility to build our relationships with our Pacific Island neighbours.
“World Vision looks forward to working with the Foreign Minister to continue to improve the effectiveness of Australia’s aid program and deepen our relationships with our neighbours.
“Aid and development is not just a commitment to the world’s poor, but also an investment that is helping make Australia safer and more prosperous."
The Gillard reshuffle sees Victorian, Brendan O’Connor move into Cabinet to take the position of Minister for Small Business, as well as Minister for Housing and Homelessness replacing Mark Arbib who resigned from Parliament after the leadership spill.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will take on the additional portfolio of Emergency Management.
Kate Lundy is promoted to Minister for Sport and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, as well as Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation.
David Bradbury is promoted to the Ministry as Assistant Treasurer, and in the newly-created position of Minister Assisting for Deregulation.
Kim Carr will move to the services delivery portfolio of Human Services.
Jan McLucas will become Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in addition to her existing duties as Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers.
Bernie Ripoll becomes Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, while Sharon Bird becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.
Jacinta Collins will become Manager of Government Business in the Senate following Mark Arbib’s retirement.
The other ministerial portfolios affecting the Not for Profit sector remain the same.