ALGA seeks meeting with Albanese over local govt referendum
THE national body for local councils will seek an urgent meeting with Local Government Minister Anthony Albanese after he was among those handed extra responsibilities by the Prime Minister on Monday.
Mr Albanese returns to the role of Regional Development Minister and local government, in addition to his existing responsibilities as Infrastructure Minister and Leader of the House.
He was among more than 14 ministers, parliamentary secretaries and Labor caucus members to get a promotion after the failed leadership spill and mass resignations last week.
Australian Local Government Association president Felicity-Ann Lewis congratulated him on the appointment, but said she needed to meet with him as soon as possible, to discuss the approaching referendum on the constitutional recognition of local government.
She said considering he had previously held the role, under Kevin Rudd's leadership, she hoped he would be able to deliver on the referendum, planned for election day on September 14.
Ms Lewis also welcomed the elevation of former parliamentary secretary Catherine King to the outer ministry as Minister for Regional Services, Local Communities and Territories as well as Road Safety.
Another senior appointment on Monday was the elevation of former Special Minister of State Gary Gray to replace Martin Ferguson as Resources and Tourism Minister.
Mr Gray, a former senior executive for Woodside, was promptly welcomed by Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche.
Mr Roche said his unique experience as former national secretary of the Labor Party and Woodside experience meant he would be well-received by the industry.
'The Minister's leadership of the 2010 National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce has also given him extensive insights into the Queensland resources sector and the opportunities that lie ahead," he said.
While the relevant industries largely welcomed the ministerial reshuffle, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Prime Minister had created an "L-plate ministry" in lifting previously junior ministers to fill the vacancies created last week.