By Tim Mantiri
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced a reshuffle of his cabinet - promoting five new faces to the Government’s principal decision making body.
Newly elected Nationals Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie moves from the backbench into the ministry and cabinet as the Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional communications. She replaced former Senator Fiona Nash as deputy leader of the Nationals following Nash’s resignation from Parliament on account of her status as a dual British citizen.
Liberals Michael Kennan and Dan Tehan move from the outer ministry into cabinet, with Keenan taking on the Human Services portfolio and Tehan replacing Christian Porter as Social Services Minister.
Porter gets Attorney General as George Brandis resigns from the ministry and Senate to take on the role of Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
First term Queensland Nationals MPs David Littleproud and John McVeigh were perhaps the biggest beneficiaries from today’s reshuffle – moving straight from the backbench into cabinet as Agriculture and Water Minister, and Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister respectively.
Prime Minister Turnbull today also announced the creation of two new ‘mega portfolios’.
Peter Dutton will lead the new Home Affairs portfolio based on the UK’s Home Office which will be responsible for the AFP, ASIO and the Australian Border Force; while a new Jobs and Innovation portfolio that takes in the former Industry and Employment portfolio responsibilities will be run by Michaelia Cash.
While a reshuffle was widely expected before the end of the year, such wide-ranging changes and the elevation of the two Nationals backbench MPs - Littleproud and McVeigh -came as a surprise to many observers as well as many in the Coalition party room. Their elevation into cabinet could be interpreted as a ‘geographic necessity’, as Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce aims to increase Queensland Nationals’ representation in cabinet, reflecting the significant number of Queensland Nationals in the party room.
Infrastructure Minister and Nationals MP Darren Chester also leaves cabinet in a move some have interpreted as ‘payback’ from Joyce for not backing his candidate, Matt Canavan, for the position of Deputy Leader.
Part of the need for a reshuffle is the ongoing illness of Minister Arthur Sinodinos who is taking a period of extended leave as he battles cancer, but is expected to return to the Parliament in mid-2018.
Prime Minister Turnbull said the reshuffle "reflects the values of the Coalition with new and reinvigorated portfolios, designed to encourage enterprise, particularly small businesses, family businesses, innovative businesses, and, of course, protecting vulnerable families".
The reshuffle is likely to be the last major Government announcement for 2017.
The full list of the cabinet, outer ministry and assistant ministers is included below.
Prime Minister - Malcolm Turnbull
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Transport Minister - Barnaby Joyce
Treasurer - Scott Morrison
Foreign Minister - Julie Bishop
Attorney-General - Christian Porter
Home Affairs Minister - Peter Dutton
Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications Minister - Bridget McKenzie
Human Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformations - Michael Keenan
Social Services Minister - Dan Tehan
Agriculture and Water Minister - David Littleproud
Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister - John McVeigh
Indigenous Affairs Minister - Nigel Scullion
Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister - Steve Ciobo
Finance Minister and Special Minister of State - Mathias Cormann
Revenue and Financial Services Minister and Minister for Women - Kelly O’Dwyer
Defence Industry Minister - Christopher Pyne
Defence Minister - Marise Payne
Resources, Northern Australia Minister - Matt Canavan
Energy and Environment Minister - Josh Frydenberg
Health Minister - Greg Hunt
Communications and Arts Minister - Mitch Fifield
Jobs and Innovation Minister - Michaelia Cash
Education and Training Minister - Simon Birmingham
Minister for Urban Infrastructure - Paul Fletcher
Minister for International Development and the Pacific - Concetta Fierravanti- Wells
Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation - Craig Laundy
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security - Angus Taylor
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs - Alan Tudge
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel - Michael McCormack
Aged Care and Indigenous Health Minister - Ken Wyatt
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister - James McGrath
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister - Damian Drum
Assistant Minister to the Treasurer - Michael Sukkar
Assistant Minister for Finance - David Coleman
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment - Luke Hartsuyker
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs - Zed Seselja
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources - Anne Ruston
Assistant Minister for Vocational Skills and Training - Karen Andrews
Assistant Minister for Children and Families - David Gillespie
Assistant Minister for Immigration - Alex Hawke
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services - Jane Prentice
Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation - Zed Seselja
Assistant Minister for Environment - Melissa Price