New NSW Ministry appointments to focus on boosting jobs, domestic manufacturing

Image credit: NSW Premier Chris Minn

New South Wales Chris Minns has announced new appointments to the state’s Ministry to boost the government’s focus on skills, domestic manufacturing, and the importance of TAFE to regional NSW. 

Minister for Finance and Natural Resources Courtney Houssos will be sworn into the new additional portfolio of Domestic Manufacturing and Government Procurement, which is aimed at reviving domestic manufacturing in NSW. 

The 2023-2024 Budget has allocated $34 million for the initiative, which will support seven new Australian-made Parramatta River Class ferries and $71.1 million to return Freshwater Class ferries to the Circular Quay-Manly route. 

In a media release, Minns said Houssos played a critical in getting waste and debt under control as minister for finance. 

“I have asked Courtney to step into the highly important area of boosting domestic manufacturing and to end the exodus of jobs and ideas offshore,” Minns said. 

Meanwhile, Steve Whan, a former minister in the previous Labor Government and Member for Monaro, will be sworn in as the new Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education. 

“The appointment of highly experienced former Minister Steve Whan to cabinet will ensure another strong voice for regional NSW at the centre of government,” Premier Minns said. “Steve has represented all communities, but particularly rural and regional NSW, with distinction throughout his career as a former Minister for Rural Affairs, Primary Industries, Emergency Services and Small Business.” 

“I am honoured to be appointed to this important portfolio that is not just a key part of the delivery of education in NSW but is critical to the skills and jobs pipeline in our state,” Minister Whan said. 

NSW lost 71,000 manufacturing jobs from 2011 to 2023, according to Minister Houssos. 

“We need to build things here again and we need to build things that work. Around the globe, countries are focused on rebuilding their local capacity. This includes with direct spending through government procurement, but also getting the policy settings right to encourage broader investment,” Houssos noted. “I am excited to be working with my new ministerial colleague, Steve Whan, on end-to-end policy and delivery solutions to boost skills, jobs and local manufacturing.”