18 July 2016

I am extremely disappointed to have to relinquish my portfolio but I have to agree with the Prime Minister that the need to finalise a new team and the uncertainty relating to my Senate seat made it impossible to wait - the business of Government is much bigger than any individual.

I have been very proud to have held the Tourism and International Education portfolio under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

I am particularly proud of Australia's first ever National Strategy for International Education released in April this year. Along with the AIE 2025, it establishes a ten year blueprint for the development of one of Australia's super-growth sectors. This plan was extremely well received by the sector and generated considerable interest internationally.

In tourism it has been a real privilege to work to continue the strong growth in this sector.

It was very exciting to sign agreements in China in May with the Prime Minister to designate 2017 as the Year of Australia-China Tourism generating further growth out of that important market.

Also, working so closely with my Ministerial colleagues on continued reform of access arrangements to Australia, such as improved visa arrangements with China, Indonesia and facilitated premium entry as well as increased aviation access has resulted in real benefits for the tourism industry.

It has been an absolute privilege to represent Australia in trade forums in India, Indonesia, USA, the Middle East and the South Pacific - working to enhance trade opportunities for Australian businesses and building stronger relationships.

I wish Malcolm and his new team every success in their new roles as I await the outcome of the Senate vote in Tasmania.

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