I would like to thank the many friends of Australian industry who have worked with me over the past four years.
When I came to the Senate in 1993, I said that our nation's future depended on its ability to maintain a strong, innovative and diverse industrial base. This view has not always been popular, but now stands central to the national agenda.
We have seen the Australian people rally behind investments that I trust will secure the future for a million manufacturing workers and their families.
I have always seen this job as a people job. I am absolutely certain the policies we have pursued, through incredibly difficult times, have helped businesses stay competitive and kept people in work.
Our approach has always been about modernising Australian companies and helping build a new Australia in which all our people can prosper.
I am proud of that record, because it is the collective achievement of many thousands of Australians.
I particularly want to acknowledge the officers of the two portfolios I have served, Innovation and Defence Materiel, whose talents are an asset to the nation.
I thank the people who have worked in my electorate and ministerial offices. Good staff work is the backbone of a good Labor government.
I also pay tribute to the workers, managers, scientists and researchers who have brought their time and expertise to our work. I know the partnerships we have built will endure.
The Human Services portfolio is a new challenge for me. It is core Labor business and critical to the Australian people. As its Minister, I will continue to work for the richer, fairer and greener Australia I know our country is capable of being.