I am honoured to have the opportunity to make a further contribution to the Howard Government following my appointment by the Prime Minister to Cabinet in the newly-created portfolio of Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
I believe the appointment is an honour not only for myself but for the people I have represented for the past 10 years in the seat of Longman and Queenslanders more widely.
I am looking forward to continuing the Howard Government's commitment to delivering real outcomes for the people of Australia.
People who know me well will recognise the interest I have taken in issues of welfare to work, community support and indigenous issues within my previous ministerial duties. My elevation to Cabinet is a tremendous honour and I intend to continue to work hard to repay the trust that has been placed in me in this important and challenging area of public policy.
I have found my duties within the Assistant Treasury portfolio to be challenging and interesting and I thank the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, Treasury officials and my staff for their support in that period. I am also grateful to the diverse range of stakeholders in that area with whom I have enjoyed cordial and constructive relations. I wish my successor and fellow Queenslander, Peter Dutton, all the best in that ministry.
In particular I wish to publicly thank my wife Sue and our children Thomas, Sarah and James for their continued support. The challenges for our families often go unrecognised but without their support I couldn't have achieved what I have so far and I see this honour of a Cabinet appointment as being very much shared by my family.
Mal Brough entered Federal Parliament as the first Member for the Queensland seat of Longman in 1996.
The former Army officer was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business in February 2000. He served in that post until February, 2001, when he was appointed Minister for Employment Services, overseeing major reforms, included in the most recent contract of the highly successful Job Network.
The portfolio of Minister Assisting the Minster for Defence was added to his list of responsibilities in October 2003. He has been Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer since July 2004.
In that role he has introduced several major initiatives to further improve Australia's superannuation and taxation systems. These have included Superannuation Choice of Fund, abolition of the superannuation surcharge and introducing superannuation contribution splitting between spouses.
Mr Brough, who is married and has three children, began his career when he enlisted as a Private in the Australian Army in 1979. He was selected for officer training in 1981 and graduated from Portsea as a Lieutenant later that year.
He served in posts around Australia as well as representing the Army in Hong Kong, Canada and Papua New Guinea before resigning from the Army with the rank of Captain in 1988 to pursue business interests in the private sector in the telecommunications sector and in small business.