Following recent comments regarding gay marriage, I have spoken with Senator Cory Bernardi and accepted his resignation from the Opposition frontbench.
While I have consistently advocated a position that the Coalition should keep its recent election commitment to maintain marriage as a union between a man and a woman, I will not tolerate comments that are offensive to people in same-sex relationships.
While the Coalition has a policy position not to support changes to the Marriage Act, the Coalition has a proud history of opposition to discrimination in any form and as Leader of the Opposition, I will not have this record undermined.
As a result, I announce the following changes.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition. Senator Sinodinos has outstanding credentials to join the Coalition frontbench after a decade of service to former Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard OM AC, as his Chief of Staff. In addition to this role, Arthur’s experience in the Commonwealth Treasury and later in the banking sector make him an ideal appointment to our ranks at a time when the Government’s Budget incompetence is putting Australia’s ongoing economic security at risk.
Arthur is currently the Chairman of the Coalition’s Deregulation Taskforce and he will continue with this important work.
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Jamie Briggs, Member for Mayo, as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Supporting Families. Mr Briggs, a father of three young children, is well qualified for this position and his experience as a senior policy adviser to former Prime Minister Howard will stand him in good stead to help to assist Australian families struggling with cost of living pressures.
Jamie is currently the Chairman of the Coalition’s Scrutiny of Government Waste Committee where he has been instrumental in highlighting Labor’s decline into debt and deficit and I have asked him to continue in this role.
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