Truss gains infrastructure portfolio as expected

Coalition ministry unveiled with Briggs as Assistant Minister, while Billson takes Small Business

September 16, 2013

Transport has been jettisoned as a named portfolio with the unveiling of the first ministry of a Tony Abbott-led Coalition Government.

Nationals leader and former transport and infrastructure spokesman Warren Truss becomes Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development along with being Deputy Prime Minister.

Jamie Briggs will back Truss up as Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Also expected, Bruce Billson is Minister for Small Business, which will be a Cabinet position, while Ian Macfarlane is industry Minister.

The Agriculture portfolio goes to deputy Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

In explaining the naming of some portfolios, Abbott indicates that he wishes to simplify them and make them less grandiose.

He describes the incoming ministry as one of the most experienced that the Coalition has ever named.

Response from transport and logistics industry representatives was swift, with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) acknowledging the confirmation of Truss in the infrastructure role.

"Warren Truss is an experienced and knowledgeable minister who has a very good understanding of the issues facing the freight logistics industry," Managing Director Michael Kilgariff says.

"Mr Truss’s previous ministerial experience, including in the transport portfolio, means he is well equipped to move swiftly on implementing the Coalition’s infrastructure and transport policies, many of which ALC supports."

Kilgariff highlights that Truss has detailed knowledge of rural Australia that would "help to ensure there is a strong focus at the federal level on improving transport links between our cities and non-metropolitan Australia".

He notes the contribution of outgoing Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, describing it as "substantial".

"Mr Albanese created a genuine partnership with industry in establishing Infrastructure Australia and creating Australia’s first national transport regulators and we look forward to him continuing that focus on industry partnerships in whatever future Opposition role he takes on," he says.

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