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Monday, December 03, 2007


MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 29) – The new Australian Labor government has announced the appointment of a parliamentary secretary for the South Pacific with the task of rebuilding relations with Pacific governments.

He is Duncan Kerr, who was the justice minister from 1993 to 1996 in the previous Labor government.

The new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, announced Mr Kerr's appointment for the Pacific while announcing his new cabinet.

"If you notice anything about our relations with the South Pacific in recent years, they've gone through one rocky patch after another," Mr Rudd said. "It's not the time for an extensive policy discussion as to why that has been the case. I would suggest having a dedicated parliamentary secretary, and someone with such extensive experience as Duncan, charged with that responsibility, will help rebuild the fabric of personal and political relationships with the governments of the South Pacific."

Mr Kerr was dean of law at the University of Papua New Guinea in the mid-1980s.

Source: Pacific Islands Report

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