MEMBER for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt will this morning be officially sworn in to her new elevated role in the Bligh Government's cabinet as Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business.
Premier Anna Bligh said she welcomed Ms Jarratt, who is one of three new ministers to be sworn in as part of a vastly reshaped Cabinet.
Ms Bligh said she had asked Ms Jarratt to step up into Cabinet because she wanted the best possible team on board to rebuild Queensland after recent natural disasters.
“Jan will bring regional knowledge and experience and that will be critical as our State rebuilds throughout 2011,” Ms Bligh said.
“She is also very well suited to this portfolio, which will play an important role in the reconstruction effort.”
Ms Jarratt said she was delighted with her new role, which she confessed was unexpected.
“To be honest it came as a complete surprise, but the nicest of surprises,” she said.
She said while the portfolio sectors would be challenging, she was ready and up to the task.
“Tourism, manufacturing and small business are all sectors impacted by floods, cyclones and economic downturn over the past few years to varying degrees.
“It will be a challenge but I couldn't be happier to be the one chosen to take it on.
“These are areas I have a passion for, and experience in. Tourism, manufacturing and small business are critical to our economy and obviously will play a very large part in the future of Queensland,” she said.
Ms Jarratt said while she would be a champion for the Whitsundays she was ready to work with stakeholders all over the state.
“My own region is no exception as we also face the task of rebuilding in the wake of the global financial crisis. I pledge to work hard in all areas of my portfolio to help our State realise its full potential.
“(Within the region) there's a lot of scope for the Whitsundays to work closely with Mackay to support each other through difficult times,” she said.
Ms Jarratt said she also relished the opportunity to work with the manufacturing and small business sectors, including mining and engineering service businesses in the Mackay region.
State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt, and State Member for Yeerongpilly, Simon Finn, will also be sworn in as new Ministers today. In addition, six key changes made to Ms Bligh's Cabinet line-up will be formalised.
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