I thank the Prime Minister for my appointment to the leadership team of the government as Manager of Government Business in the Senate, in addition to my continuing responsibilities as Minister for Education and Training.

The Senate is Australia’s greatest parliamentary chamber but, for governments, also its most challenging. Successful management requires respect for the diversity of opinions across the Senate chamber and, as the Turnbull Government has demonstrated time and time again, a pragmatic approach that recognises the old adage that politics is the art of the possible.

I look forward to working with the outstanding new Senate leadership team of Mathias Cormann and Mitch Fifield, who have already been instrumental in our successful legislation of reforms to achieve deficit reduction, greater union accountability, improved child care subsidies, fairer school funding and modernised media ownership laws, to name but a few.

My thanks also go to George Brandis for his leadership not just of the government in the Senate, but as an intellectual leader within the Liberal Party. There are few, if any, who have so consistently advanced the role of liberal principles as a foundational bedrock of our party from its establishment by Menzies through to today.

As Attorney-General, George has ensured that Australia is a safer place, with national security laws that better reflect our modern challenges and a fairer place, with equality of treatment of Australians of all sexualities, especially during the marriage equality debate.

I am honoured to continue as Minister for Education and Training alongside Karen Andrews as Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills and look forward to continuing work to advance Australia’s education system, from the high chair to higher education.