Throsby Labor MP Stephen Jones has been promoted onto the Opposition’s front bench as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Infrastructure. This is an outer shadow ministry position, chosen at the discretion of new Labor leader Bill Shorten.
Mr Jones campaigned for Anthony Albanese, Mr Shorten’s competitor for the leadership role. Nonetheless, he has been awarded the position by Mr Shorten today as the rest of the frontbench makeup was finalised. Mr Jones will assist Shadow Infrastructure Minister Mr Albanese.
Mr Jones released a statement shortly after the appointment, saying he looks forward to taking the fight up to Prime Minister Tony Abbott:
I’m very pleased to be promoted to the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Infrastructure and thank Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for this great opportunity.
Coming from the Illawarra, I understand the challenges facing regional Australia and the important role that the government plays in investing in crucial infrastructure projects – especially those which the private sector cannot or will not build.
In the last three years I’ve worked to secure more than $400 million in funding for major regional projects like the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link, Illawarra Regional Innovation and Investment Fund, Steel Transformation Plan, Home of Soccer, Regional Livestock Exchange and the Southern Youth and Family Services Community Hub and Youth Foyer.
Prime Minister Abbott has stated that he wants to be known as the ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’ so I’m looking forward to holding him to account on this. A good start would be to confirm funding for local infrastructure like the Mount Ousley upgrade, Maldon Dombarton and Home of Soccer.