Tony Burke – Australia’s New Immigration Minister

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The guy was only sworn in back in February however Brendan O’Conner is on the move due to a recent re-shuffle following Kevin Rudd’s re-election to the position of Australian Prime Minister.

Within his new position, O’Connor picks up the role as Minister for Employment and Minister for Skills and Training Support. Although not a massive disconnect from his old position, it’ll be interesting to see how his role as Minister for Employment influences the new Minister for Immigration’s policies.

Speaking of which, a chap by the name of Tony Burke picks up the gig as Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Minister for the Arts. (A mouthfull I know)

So Who is Tony Burke?

Well, Tony Burke was educated at Regina Coeli, then at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield, where he was Vice-Captain, and the University of Sydney, where he graduated in arts and law.

From 1997 until 2003, Burke worked as an organiser for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association.

On 22 March 2003, he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council. He chaired the NSW State Development Committee, conducting inquiries into ports infrastructure, and science and its commercialisation. Burke resigned from the NSW state parliament on 24 June 2004 to campaign for the federal parliament division of Watson. He successfully gained the seat at the 2004 federal election.

Will he know what he’s doing?

Who knows, however he’s not new to roles in immigration.  Burke was appointed as Shadow Minister for Small Business immediately after his election, and in June 2005 was promoted to Shadow Minister for Immigration.

On 2 April 2010, Kevin Rudd announced that Burke was the inaugural federal Minister for Population. The responsibilities of the office were to include planning the growth of the Australian population and coordinating provision of services to the increasing numbers of people living in Australia. Perhaps something that may sway his views in the future.

It’s all speculation I know and I’m sure the number of boats and illegal immigrants will be the things making the headlines. However for those looking to migrate to Australia, having someone who appreciates the importance of a growing Australian population might not be a bad thing.

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