CANBERRA – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has conducted a minor ministry reshuffle, re-appointing all cabinet ministers from last term with only minor changes of roles and titles.
The Prime Minister made it clear before and during the election that the ministry he took to the election would be the ministry he led after the election.
The frontbench has undergone some minor changes with Senator Matt Canavan being promoted to Cabinet as the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
There will no longer be a sole Environment Ministry portfolio, with Josh Frydenberg taking on the expanded Environment and Energy portfolio.
Prime Minister Turnbull praised Greg Hunt’s work in his former role, which he held since 2013, saying “Mr Hunt has been an outstanding Environment Minister. He has a keen understanding of innovation.”
Mr Hunt has been moved to the Industry, Innovation and Science ministry portfolio.
The Former Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne has been appointed the new role for Minister of Defence Industry within the Defence portfolio.
Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash added Local Government and Territories to her regional development ministerial role, while Kelly O’Dwyer’s title of Assistant Treasurer has been changed to Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.
Paul Fletcher has been appointed the role of Minister for Urban Infrastructure, with a particular focus on the Western Sydney Airport.
Senator Scott Ryan has become the Special Minister of State in the Finance portfolio assisting Kelly O’Dwyer, and Dan Tehan has been appointed as the Minister for Defence Personnel in conjunction with his ongoing role as Minister for Veterans Affairs.
Mr Tehan has also taken on the new role of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, and Michael McCormack has been appointed the Minister for Small Business in the Treasury portfolio.
On the other side of politics, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has kept Senator Kim Carr on the frontbench in his shadow ministry, despite factions of the Left wanting to dump him.
After complicated factional meetings, Mr Shorten brokered a deal to keep Senator Carr on the frontbench, but costs Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Senator Sam Dastyari pay rises.
Under the compromise, Senator Dastyari will remain on a backbencher’s salary, despite his promotion to the frontbench, while the unaligned Dr Leigh will move to a backbencher’s salary, taking a pay cut of $40,000.
Mr Shorten hopes the deal will allow him to keep Senator Carr on-side without angering senior members of the Left faction.
Senator Dastyari and newly elected Linda Burney were among five MPs elevated to the frontbench, along with Ed Husic, Carol Brown and Claire O’Neill.
The juggling, cutting and changing of portfolios has ended on both sides, now it’s just a matter of seeing how they perform when Parliament resumes on August 30.
– Maggie Triantafillou, Editor (Oceania)