After securing a majority government in the recently concluded election, newly-elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has named Tony Burke as the newest Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.
The prime minister also said that Burke is also the Leader of the House and the newest Minister for the Arts. Prior to his new role, he had served as Manager of Opposition Business under Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese since 2013, and has also held various positions in the shadow cabinet.
The appointment of Burke has already been welcomed by trade unions who look forward to working with him.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus said, “After almost a decade of attacks on their rights, working people finally have a Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations who will fight for them. We welcome Minister Burke's appointment and look forward to working with him and his team in line with the strong mandate for action on job security and wage growth that the Albanese Government has secured.”
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) noted that Burke has worked really hard in opposition to resist attacks on Australia workers like the Ensuring Integrity Bill and the IR Omnibus Bill. It was likely because of Burke’s perseverance that the pay and conditions of millions of working people are stronger today.
Tony Burke is a graduate of the University of Sydney, and worked as a political staffer, company director, and union organiser before entering politics.
Burke’s political career started when he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council in 2003, but resigned the following year to enter federal politics. He was included in the shadow ministry immediately after winning a seat at the 2004 election. In his tenure in the labour government between 2007 to 2013, Burke served as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (2007–2010), Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water and Population (2010–2013), Minister for the Arts (2013), and Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (2013).