Just as I said after the 2010 election, I have said repeatedly this week that the allocation of portfolios is entirely a matter for the Prime Minister.
After the 2010 election, I asked the Prime Minister if I could serve as Defence Minister and continue to make a contribution to our national security interests.
I am very happy and privileged to serve as Defence Minister.
There are lots of challenges in Defence - transition in Afghanistan, capability, budget and cultural issues.
I personally look forward to getting on with the job.
More importantly, the Prime Minister now has a very strong new team which will not only govern well, but take up the fight to Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party.
I congratulate Bob Carr, whom I have known for many years, and look forward very much to working with him.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392