Australia’s comeback Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unveiled his new cabinet on Monday morning, with Senator Kim Carr and Mark Butler MP taking over the ministry vacated by the Hon. Greg Combet, former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, who stepped down from politics last week.
Under Rudd’s new front bench Carr assumes the roles of Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and Minister for Higher Education. Meanwhile, climate change is back in a separate department, with Butler at the helm of the Ministry for Climate Change, as well as the Ministry for Environment, Heritage and Water.
In an interview with ABC News, Carr, who was demoted and removed from the Gillard cabinet in March, says he is returning to his first love.
“It’s a great pleasure to be able to have a second go at this,” says Minister Carr. “It’s an opportunity to be part of something incredibly important for the future of Australia, about building a richer, fairer and greener Australia.”
Carr says it is about making sure that Australian scientists and researchers are at the center of transformation that is desperately needed to maintain the prosperity, wealth, economic condition and the living standards of Australians.
The move to appoint Carr to the role of Higher Education Minister was welcomed by the higher education and research sectors, according the an article from The Australian.
“He has already demonstrated a strong commitment and deep understanding of the role Australian universities must play in the national and international innovation agenda,” says Vicki Thomson, executive director of the Australian Technology Network.
PM Rudd reappointed Carr to the Ministry of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the department he previously headed from December 2007 to December 2011. He also held the position of Minister for Manufacturing from December 2011 to March 2012.
Meanwhile, Member for Port Adelaide Mark Butler, who now heads Climate Change and Environment, is being urged to set more ambitious targets for cutting pollution in Australia.
According to reports from Sydney Morning Herald, Opposition leader Tony Abbott says Mr. Butler faces the important task of spelling out the future of what pollution-reduction targets Australia would commit to.
Stakeholders seem upbeat about Butler’s appointment to the departments but admit that they know little about him personally.
For the full list of Kevin Rudd’s new cabinet, go here.