Christian Porter, Dan Tehan, Michaelia Cash and David Littleproud will be having a very happy Christmas this year as they emerge the big winners from today’s Cabinet reshuffle. Seen as an important realignment, the Prime Minister has looked to the rising stars amongst conservative Liberals to steady the ship and help crawl back in the polls in 2018. In doing so, he has left the Nationals allocation to his deputy, Barnaby Joyce, (cue – expected fireworks within the Nats’ party room) and placed a huge amount of faith in his rural Liberal colleagues.
Dan Tehan will take on the tough gig of Social Services, made free by the appointment of Christian Porter to Attorney General. Tehan has handled the complexity of stakeholder engagement around the Defence personnel and veteran space well, and has developed a strong working relationship with the PM through the cyber portfolio.
Porter’s background as a senior state prosecutor, and then WA’s Attorney General, makes him a natural fit to replace George Brandis, who is off to the UK as High Commissioner. Porter has earned a reputation on the hill as a tough negotiator, and will be able to hold his own against Peter Dutton, who will lead the super portfolio of Home Affairs. The Home Affairs empire will now include ministers Angus Taylor (Law Enforcement and Cyber Security) and Alan Tudge (Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs).
Continuing to lay the foundations of an election campaign on ‘Jobs and Growth’, Turnbull has handed Michaelia Cash the other new super portfolio of Jobs and Innovation – a reward for her wins on industrial relations and gaining support from the volatile crossbench to secure them. This portfolio includes the previous industry and innovation portfolio, which was held by Arthur Sinodinos, who will remain on extended leave.
In a nod to the importance of Queensland, Liberal MP David Littleproud will head straight to the front bench as Minister for Agriculture; not bad for a member who was only elected to Parliament in 2016. Fellow newbie, Nationals’ Dr John McVeigh joins Cabinet as Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government and brings his experience from the Queensland Government with him.
Further new faces to Cabinet include Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie who takes the Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications portfolios, and Michael Keenan from Justice Minister to Minister for Human Services. Keenan also takes Angus Taylor’s Digital Transformation responsibilities. This is a smart alignment of portfolios as Human Services presents the biggest opportunity (and risk) for digital improvements in public engagement.
Dr David Gillespie farewells his beloved Regional Health portfolio and gains a newly created role of Assistant Minister for Children and Families – providing a further insight on where the election focus will be moving forward.
Finally, we farewell Nationals Darren Chester and Keith Pitt back to the backbench where they will keep Sussan Ley company, still doing penance following the expenses scandal in 2016.
The reshuffle is a bold one – larger than expected and shows the PM’s confidence as he heads into the Christmas break.
THE TURNBULL MINISTRY
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 & Minister Assisting the PM in Digital Transformations Michael Keenan
Social Services Minister Dan Tehan
Agriculture and Water Resources 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
Northern Australia and Resources 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
About Us Parker & Partners is Australia’s leading public affairs agency. We’ve been building effective working relationships between our clients, the public and Australian governments since 1998. We are a non-partisan agency, which sets us apart. We offer our clients high-level counsel, access and expertise in the workings of policy at all levels regardless of the administration of the day. We know the processes and nuances of government, policy making and media and guide our clients through often complex issues to achieve successful outcomes. Please contact us for all your Government Relations needs at firstname.lastname@example.org