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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Conroy adds ‘government accountability’ to his role

Shortland MP Pat Conroy is determined to hold Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his colleagues to account after being selected for a new role within the Labor party.

The Hunter-based federal member, who’s been quite vocal about the upcoming cuts to the Coronavirus Supplement and JobKeeper payments, was today named Shadow Minister Assisting for Government Accountability by opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

Along with Kristina Keneally, he’ll keep a close eye on the Australian ministry’s expenditure.

Mr Conroy said he was “honoured” by the latest appointment.

“This builds on my experience as Labor’s Waste Watch spokesperson from 2014 to 2016,” he stated.

“There are real issues with how Scott Morrison is spending taxpayers’ money.

“From the $1 billion the Liberals have paid on government advertising since 2013 to the sports rorts scandal.

“And, don’t forget, the $30 million purchase of land near the Western Sydney Airport, which was later valued at $3 million.

“Given the economic crisis our nation is currently dealing with, it’s never been more important to hold the government to account on its spending and its overpromising and underdelivering.

“I look forward to taking on this responsibility.”

Mr Conroy’s newest position will be in addition to his other portfolio responsibilities: in international development and the Pacific, climate and energy, and defence.

Following a Labor reshuffle on the eve of Parliament’s return, long-serving climate spokesperson Mark Butler now takes on health, while deputy leader Richard Marles moves from defence to a broad brief across national reconstruction, jobs, skills, small business and science.

Former employment representative Brendan O’Connor transfers to defence, Ed Husic relocates from agriculture into innovation, Chris Bowen takes on climate and energy, and Julie Collins shifts into agriculture from ageing, seniors and women.

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank Mark Butler and Richard Marles for their work and advice in the climate and energy, and defence portfolios,” Mr Conroy said.

“I’m also keen to work with the new Shadow Minister for Climate and Energy Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Defence Brendan O’Connor and the rest of my colleagues in continuing to demonstrate how a Labor government will improve people’s lives.”