The former Woodside Petroleum adviser Gary Gray was appointed resources minister†in a Gillard government cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Gray, a Labor member from resource-rich Western Australia, is a strong advocate for the resources industry.
This was forced by ministerial resignations after the Kevin Rudd party takeover failed to move Ms Gillard from her position as Prime Minister.
The mining employer group Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) said Gray was well known to the industry and should help attract investment to the sector.
Gray joined the Labor party in 1974. He quit the party in 2000 to work for conglomerate Wesfarmers and later as a public relations adviser for Woodside Petroleum, in order to help shape its defence in a takeover battle with Royal Dutch Shell.
Around A$400 billion ($418 billion) has been ploughed into Australian resources projects over the past ten years, with a further A$200 billion in liquefied natural gas projects in the pipeline. This is a positive sign at a time when investment in the sector is in need of† support from the Australian government.
Reference: New Resources Minister Appointed