Appendix 1: Ministerial responsibilities (as at 30 June 2013)
Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Senator the Hon. Bob Carr
Senator Carr had overall responsibility for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, including administration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was responsible for all non-trade international political, multilateral and legal issues (including the treaty-making process), consular and passport functions and management of the overseas estate and was the Cabinet minister responsible for development assistance. In addition, he was responsible for all human rights, arms control and disarmament issues, peacekeeping, and the non-trade related aspects of the UN system. Senator Carr shared responsibility for international security and counter-terrorism issues with the Minister for Defence. Senator Carr had primary carriage of non-trade related public affairs activities and questions of protocol.
He also had responsibility for the administration and management of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness,*
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy,
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
The Hon. Dr Craig Emerson, MP
Dr Emerson was responsible for pursuing Australia's trade and investment interests around the world. He did this through representation at multilateral bodies such as the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and also through a range of regional groupings. The minister engaged regularly with counterparts from Australia's trading partners on bilateral issues, particularly free trade agreement negotiations.
Dr Emerson chaired the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries. He was also responsible for trade and development issues, including aid for trade.
At the regional level, Dr Emerson pursued Australia's interests through: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and East Asia Summit forums; the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and through negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He was also leading negotiations on free trade agreements with an array of regional trading partners.
Dr Emerson had responsibility for Australia's trade promotion agency, Austrade, and Australia's export facilitation agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.
In early 2012, Dr Emerson's portfolio was expanded to include Competitiveness, in recognition that trade policy, productivity and micro-economic reform are inextricably linked. As Minister for Competitiveness, Dr Emerson worked on policies to boost the capacity of Australian businesses to take advantage of international market opportunities, particularly in the context of the shift in the global centre of economic gravity to our region. He had special responsibility for the Prime Minister's White Paper project on Australia in the Asian Century, and was named Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy in October 2012.
In March 2013, Dr Emerson was made Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade
The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, MP
Mr Thomson supported the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in promoting and advocating the government's trade and investment attraction policy. Mr Thomson worked with the department and with Austrade to implement export, business development and investment attraction programs including TradeStart, the Export Market Development Grants scheme and Brand Australia which includes Future Unlimited, promoting International Education in Australia. As Parliamentary Secretary he was responsible for raising the awareness of the government's trade and investment policies and priorities among the Australian public through media and public events. Mr Thomson represented the Minister for Trade at trade-related functions and sought to help Australian companies capitalise on new market access opportunities resulting from multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.
Parliamentary Secretary for
Pacific Island Affairs,
Senator the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite
Senator Thistlethwaite supported the Minister for Foreign Affairs in advancing Australia's interests and diplomatic relations in the Pacific. As part of this responsibility, Senator Thistlethwaite worked with Pacific countries in taking forward and building on Australia's partnership approach to the region based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility. Senator Thistlethwaite was also responsible for raising the Australian public's awareness of the government's policies and priorities in the Pacific through the media and public events.