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Melissa Parke appointed Minister for International Development


Today I was sworn in as Minister for International Development in the Rudd Government. It is a privilege to be asked to make a contribution to the government in this new role.

Development assistance is a very significant aspect of the government’s work in Australia’s national interest. First and foremost, it is about making a contribution to helping our fellow human beings in parts of the world affected by poverty, disease, war and civil unrest.

It is in our nature as Australians to do our part in the shared global effort of reducing human suffering, providing peace-keeping resources, and creating greater self-reliance.

But development assistance is also about building economic capacity in other countries, especially in our region, and it is both a necessary and effective way of building regional cooperation and security.

Providing development assistance is the right thing to do and it is also the sensible and effective way to promote economic stability and regional security.

As a Western Australian I am very proud to have the opportunity to be part of renewal within the Labor government.

As the representative of an engaged and multicultural electorate and with my experience of working for the United Nations, I am honoured to have the opportunity to work in this area.

I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to the high Ministerial standard set by my colleague, Stephen Smith, who will be retiring at the next election. I will certainly have Stephen in mind as a model of hard work, commitment and decency.

He has made a very substantial contribution to good government in this country, and I acknowledge the sacrifices made by Stephen’s family in allowing him to undertake his parliamentary and Ministerial work over the last 20 years.


Media contact: Ronald Mizen 0409 447 025


Last reviewed: 1 July, 2013