Neumann Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Ageing
BLAIR MP Shayne Neumann is the only Queenslander in the shadow cabinet after Labor leader Bill Shorten unveiled his cabinet positions and ministerial portfolios yesterday.
Mr Neumann and Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll were both given shadow ministries.
Mr Neumann has two portfolios as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Shadow Minster for Ageing. Mr Ripoll is Shadow Minister for Sport, Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader for Small Business.
Mr Neumann spent five-and-a-half years as chair of the Labor Party's social policy committee which covers indigenous affairs and ageing. He also spent two-and-half-years as the House of Representatives chair of the ATSIA committee. He oversaw three reports in areas of indigenous affairs that included the high level of involvement of indigenous people in the justice system, the importance of preserving indigenous language and the role of sport in closing the gap. The resultant reports were Doing Time - Time for Doing: Indigenous Youth in the Criminal Justice System, Our Land Our Languages, and Sport - More than Just a Game.
"During those inquiries I travelled extensively across Australia in indigenous communities gathering evidence and hearing evidence for those reports," Mr Neumann said
"I also spent 14 years on the board of Queensland Baptist Care as their lawyer. They are involved in running aged care facilities across Queensland. My family has been involved in aged care in Ipswich for three generations.
"These are areas I was active in long before I began my political life, so I specifically asked the Leader of the Opposition for those two portfolios.
Mr Neumann said for indigenous communities "the key is to close the gap in terms of education, employment and opportunity and to keep indigenous people out of prison".
"We need to make them feel like they are part of the Australian family because the dislocation and dispossession of indigenous people have experienced over the last 100 years has been dreadful."