Albanese given shadow infrastructure and transport portfolio

Anthony Albanese given responsibility for infrastructure and transport on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's front bench

October 18, 2013

Anthony Albanese will continue to play a key role in infrastructure and transport after being given the responsibilities for both matters on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s front bench.

Albanese, who held the infrastructure and transport portfolio from 2007 to this year under the Rudd and Gillard governments, was named the opposition spokesman on infrastructure and transport today.

He administered a record multi-billion dollar investment in the nation’s infrastructure during his time in office, along with overseeing the development of national heavy vehicle regulations, the first federal program dedicated to rest areas and the creation of Infrastructure Australia.

Albanese, who also takes on tourism duties, says he will hold the Federal Government to account on the need to invest in public transport, roads, ports and freight infrastructure.

"The Coalition government says urban congestion is "a big economic problem" but has provided no clear plan to fix the nation’s public transport infrastructure, or ensure adequate investment in our nation’s roads," he says.

"By contrast Labor has demonstrated a strong track record when it comes to renewing and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. In addition to establishing Infrastructure Australia, we doubled funding for roads, increased spending on rail tenfold, rebuilt more than a third of the interstate rail network and invested more in public transport infrastructure than all our predecessors since Federation combined."

Albanese has accused the Coalition of neglecting tourism by failing to appoint a minister for the portfolio.

"I firmly believe Labor is the party of nation building and I will continue to push for much needed funding in infrastructure, transport and tourism," he says.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has congratulated Albanese on his appointment and says his detailed knowledge of freight logistics means the sector will have a strong voice in Shorten's Shadow Cabinet.

"Mr Albanese made a substantial contribution to the freight logistics sector during his six years in government across a range of areas, including infrastructure investment reform and the introduction of seamless transport laws," ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff says.

"In particular, he created a genuine partnership with industry in establishing Infrastructure Australia and creating Australia’s first national transport regulators.

"ALC welcomes Mr Albanese’s appointment and looks forward to him continuing to be a strong advocate for a more productive, efficient and safe logistics sector."

In other appointments, Tanya Plibersek will combine her role as Shorten’s deputy with foreign affairs and international development, while Chris Bowen will be shadow treasurer.

The shadow finance portfolio has gone to Tony Burke, with Brendan O’Connor taking on the duties of employment and workplace relations.

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