Queensland safe with Rudd, says Neumann

LEADER’S CHOICES: PM Kevin Rudd has retained Shayne Neumann and Bernie Ripoll as parliamentary secretaries.
LEADER’S CHOICES: PM Kevin Rudd has retained Shayne Neumann and Bernie Ripoll as parliamentary secretaries. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BLAIR MP Shayne Neumann has rubbished claims that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has turned his back on Queensland in the wake of the naming of the new Rudd ministry yesterday.

Mr Rudd, as Prime Minister, is the only Queenslander in the new cabinet. The absence of any other Queensland members has been slammed by acting State Premier Jeff Seeney.

"How can Queenslanders have any confidence at all that their interests are being represented, when they don't even have a voice in the ministry?" Mr Seeney said. "Kevin Rudd is a known autocrat and this is further evidence he truly is a one-man band.

"Even if he wasn't going to listen, it was important for our state to have representation in that inner sanctum where so many of the big decisions are made."

Mr Neumann said Queensland was well served by Mr Rudd's new team and that residents of the state had no reason to be alarmed by Mr Seeney's comments.

"Queensland is well represented in the ministry," Mr Neumann said.

"It has the Prime Minister at the very top and no other state has got that.

"We've got a minister (of human services) from North Queensland in Jan McLucas and three parliamentary secretaries based in south-east Queensland in myself, Bernie Rippoll and Yvette D'Ath.

"That is five people based in Queensland in the executive of the government.

"You would expect Seeney to say that, but that is the LNP political line. I am not interested in that sort of negative politics. I am interested in making sure we deliver for Queensland, the western corridor and the people of Blair."

Mr Neumann, who voted for Mr Rudd last week in the leadership contest, retains his roles as parliamentary secretary to the attorney-general and parliamentary secretary for health and ageing.

Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll also remains parliamentary secretary to the treasurer and parliamentary secretary for small business.

Mr Neumann has received increased duties as part of the ministerial reshuffle.

The former role of parliamentary secretary for mental health and ageing has been abolished and Mr Neumann will take over the mental health aspect of the position.

He will now also be responsible to the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Jacinta Collins, along with Minster for Health and Medical Research Tanya Plibersek and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

"I am just honoured to be in the executive of a Federal Labor Government," Mr Neumann said.

"There is some good talent elevated into the ministry and a record number of women in the ministry, which contrasts incredibly with Tony Abbott's side of politics.

"Kevin has clearly shown that he is very inclusive and that regardless of how they voted in the leadership contest... that he wants to get the best possible people in there.

"He said there would be no recriminations and that is quite clear with the decisions that he has made."

Mr Neumann said Queensland was in good hands under Mr Rudd while Mr Seeney's record in state politics had shown a lack of care for the well-being of Queenslanders.

"Kevin knows Queensland very well," Mr Neumann said. "He was born in rural Queensland and lives in Brisbane. Queensland will get a lot of attention.

"But I don't respect anything a bloke like Seeney has to say.

"This is a bloke that sat in Campbell Newman's cabinet and cut funding for jobs, services and growth in our region.

"He has devastated it. Campbell's Queensland will become Abbott's Australia if they get their way."



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