This is a great opportunity to make a fundamental change to this most important area of national policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
I want to thank the Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott, for the opportunity, and for taking the significant step of elevating this to the priority it should always have had in the national policy arena.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs will be my sole responsibility in Cabinet. Having the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet ensures that I will have influence across all portfolios.
I have already met with Warren Mundine, the chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council. We share common ground on most issues, particularly the importance of economic development and the empowerment of local people, families and communities.
My goal will be to achieve a demonstrable improvement in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the next three years.
My approach will be to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with me on this major national endeavour.
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