As a new ACT minister I am determined to bring energy to my portfolios and work in a way that strengthens connections with the community and focuses on better service delivery across our health, transport and higher education sectors.
It’s an honour to be given responsibility for some of the services our community interacts with on a day-to-day basis in my roles as Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport and Municipal Services and Assistant Health Minister.
Some key priorities in my new portfolios will be to:
- Plan and explain the integration of our transport network, and create a single and efficient MyWay system.
- Ensure Canberra continues to grow into a research and innovation hub, attracting the best minds to our city’s institutions.
- Continue the focus on preventative and community health to keep our city active and healthy.
I’m looking forward to improving our transport network across the whole of Canberra, which includes buses, light rail, roads, cycling and walking. Public transport is such an important service and how we move around our city is becoming more and more important as we grow.
Municipal services are vital to our city’s operation and I’m interested in looking at more innovative ideas for how we deliver our essential services. I am a big fan of Canberra’s playgrounds, and am excited about creating more opportunities for play around Canberra. Young families and children, and the services we deliver to them, will be a key priority for me.
Our higher education, training and research sector is a key economic and social contributor to our city. There are so many opportunities to collaborate and engage the best minds in the world, and accolades for our higher education sector just keep coming. I am keen to build an even stronger training sector that readies people for the jobs of the future, jobs which can be done right here in Canberra, especially those requiring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.
Finally I am really looking forward to assisting the Health Minister. There are some big changes happening in our health system; a new public hospital, expanded Emergency Department and growth in our Walk-in Centres. There are also challenges with a system that has taken a massive budget hit from Federal Liberal Government cuts. I want to continue to focus on the community’s health needs and create better access to our community health system and services across the regions. Our health system must continue to put people first.
I look forward to working with all my colleagues, especially Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell, his grasp of policy and dedication to improving our health system has been first rate. I am also looking forward to working with the community, stakeholders and directorate staff in each of my portfolio areas.