Bowen changes cabinet duties

New responsibilities: McMahon MP Chris Bowen. Picture: Wesley Lonergan New responsibilities: McMahon MP Chris Bowen. Picture: Wesley Lonergan

LABOR’S cabinet reshuffle on Saturday has seen a change in portfolios for McMahon MP Chris Bowen.

Mr Bowen has vacated his immigration and citizenship portfolios and on Monday was sworn in as Minister for Small Business.

He has also replaced Senator Chris Evans as the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Mr Bowen said he was happy about the switch.

“I enjoyed being Immigration Minister but there is enormous potential to do really good things in small business,” he said.

“Small business is so important to Western Sydney.”

Mr Bowen also mentioned the significance of the tertiary education portfolio, which includes apprenticeships and TAFE.

“Again it is very important for our local area . . . they’re all things I’ve got a passion about, so I am very pleased with the allocation.”

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told the Fairfield Champion on Sunday Mr Bowen’s move to tertiary education minister was a promotion.

“Because Chris Evans retired, I wanted one of our best people to do that role,” she said.

“Chris as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has never shied away from what is hard work in one of the government’s most challenging portfolios.

“I know he is going to bring his same drive and determination to this new challenge.”

Mr Bowen was Immigration Minister for 2½ years.

Blaxland MP Jason Clare is Cabinet Secretary. He retains retains the Home Affairs and Justice portfolios.

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