The Australian Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has appointed Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon as its new minister.
Fitzgibbon was originally born and grew up in Bellingen, a small town located in rural New South Wales approximately midway between major cities Sydney and Brisbane. DAFF has emphasised Fitzgibbon’s rural background in endorsing his suitability for the role.
The new minister has stated his keen awareness of the essential role played by farmers in rural and regional communities, as well as the importance of protecting Australia’s biosecurity.
“I am looking forward to engaging with industry and stakeholders and deepening my understanding of the diverse views in the sector,” Fitzgibbon said. “I will continue on with the Australian Government’s plan for agriculture.”
Fitzgibbon’s appointment follows Labor’s leadership spill and is part of the second ministry of returning prime minister Kevin Rudd.