Veteran Labor industry spokesman Kim Carr has announced he will not renominate to be part of the next Labor shadow ministry.
“I have spoken to Anthony Albanese and told him that I wish him well and the new leadership team every success. Millions of Australians rely on Labor and the Labor movement, and I am confident that Labor can regroup and win the next election,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Senator Carr’s decision follows last weekend’s federal election that saw Labor defeated by the Morrison government.
Senator Carr has served as the shadow minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research since 2016, and was a member of Bill Shorten’s shadow Cabinet. Mr Shorten stepped down as leader following the election loss.
Senator Carr, originally from the Victorian Labor Left, had been a long-time supporter of Mr Shorten.
“For much of my time in Parliament I have been the Labor Party’s spokesperson on innovation industry, science and research. Innovation policy is critically important to the Labor movement. It is the thread that draws industry, science and research policy together,” he said.
“Labor will always seek to work with industry, unions and researchers to develop a 21st century industrial structure that will ensure prosperity for all Australians.
“My policy interests remain. I shall continue to advocate for the modernisation of Australian industry, and for restoring science and research policy to the centre of government,” he said.
In the lead up to the election, Senator Carr was vocal about the need to put science “back at the centre of government” by reviewing Australia’s existing research capabilities, and how a “local projects, local jobs” procurement policy would help small Australian tech companies secure government contracts.
He also defended Labor’s plans to cut more than $300 million from the Industry Growth Centres and Entrepreneurs’ Programme, if the party won the federal election.
“We need to reduce fragmentation in programs, get more collaboration in the system and develop a stronger focus on how we build a 21st century economy that meets the challenge of climate change,” Senator Carr said at the time.
Senator Carr said he remained committed to work on “Labor’s pursuit of a national rail manufacturing plan, Australian-made electric vehicles, and building and fire safety reform – particularly in airports.”
It is expected that by next week Labor MP Anthony Albanese will formally stand in to take the shadow leadership role where he will announce a new shadow ministry.