Canberra (Tribune International, PM Statement, 18 Dec 2020): ‘Today I am announcing changes to my Ministry
which I propose to recommend to the Governor-General. The decisions reflect a strong focus on stability in key portfolios, together with a commitment to bring forward new talent as Australia continues its comeback from the COVID-19 crisis.’
Stability and consistency are key at this time.
Key portfolios geared to Australia’s prosperity and security remain unchanged. These include the Treasury,
Finance, Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Home Affairs portfolios. The representation of the Nationals in the Ministry and associated portfolio responsibilities also remain unchanged under the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Michael McCormack MP. The Ministry maintains record representation of women in Cabinet.
Following the appointment of Simon Birmingham as Minister for Finance in October, the Hon Dan Tehan MP will become the new Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Dan brings strong credentials to this role as a former officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as a keen sense of the particular interests of regional Australia in an open, rules-based trading system.
The Aged Care portfolio will be brought into Cabinet with the Hon Greg Hunt MP as Minister for Health and Aged Care responsible for the Government’s response to the Aged Care Royal Commission. Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck will retain responsibility for aged care services, including delivery of residential and home care packages, aged care sector regulation and Senior Australians. He will also continue as Minister for Sport.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP will become Minister for Education and Youth with a clear brief of improving education outcomes and helping younger Australians navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing world. In recognition of the importance the Government places on driving down unemployment, the Hon Luke Howarth MP will become Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services.
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP will take on responsibility for urban infrastructure as Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.
The Hon David Coleman MP will become Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for mental health and suicide prevention, a critical focus of the Government only heightened by the expected legacy of COVID-19.
Strengthening the economic team and in recognition of the growing importance of digital technology to Australia’s economic future, Senator the Hon Jane Hume will join the Ministry and take on expanded responsibilities as Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy.
Building on the demonstrated success of the Government’s housing policies in maintaining construction jobs during the COVID pandemic, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP will have expanded responsibilities as Minister for Housing, Homelessness, Social and Community Housing.
To further drive Australia’s pursuit of new economic opportunities in a post-COVID economy, Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam will become Assistant Minister for Industry Development.
The Hon Alex Hawke MP will become Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Australia has yet again proven in 2020 that we are the most successful multicultural nation in the world and my Government will make every effort to ensure our country remains cohesive and united into the future.
Senator the Hon Zed Seselja will become Minister for International Development and the Pacific. The Government’s demonstrated commitment to our Pacific family extends far beyond the Pacific ‘step up’ with our vaccine strategy expected to be a key part of building even closer ties in 2021.
As part of bringing new talent into the executive, I am delighted to announce that Senator the Hon Amanda Stoker will become Assistant Minister to the Attorney General.
The Hon Ben Morton MP will continue in his role as Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet and will add responsibilities as Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters.
I thank the Hon Steve Irons MP for his work and passion and appreciate his making way for Andrew Hastie MP to enter the executive and become Assistant Minister for Defence.