The Albanese Government has today announced a number of important diplomatic appointments and I wish all of those appointed well in their new postings.

None is more important than the appointment of Australia’s new Ambassador to the United States of America, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Over the years Australia’s Ambassador in Washington has been ably filled by many who, in representing Australia’s interests, are close to and carry the ear of the Prime Minister of the day.

In appointing former Prime Minister Rudd, Prime Minister Albanese has personally chosen a friend and confidante, a former parliamentary and ministerial colleague, and someone in whom Mr Albanese clearly has faith and confidence.

The next few years in the Australia–America relationship are as important as any in recent times, as we work together to deliver upon the AUKUS partnership and respond to the strategic challenges of our times. They will require discipline, sensitivity and drive. AUKUS is essential to our national security interests and will be a most challenging undertaking. That will require the unqualified support and attention of our Ambassador.

Above all else, the Coalition looks to Mr Rudd and all of the new appointments to deliver on Australia’s national interests first and foremost.

We also pay tribute to outgoing Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos, who has delivered for Australia by working collaboratively and cooperatively with both the Trump and Biden Administrations, during which time the national security and economic bonds between Australia and the US have been successfully strengthened. Arthur leaves a legacy to be proud of and built upon.