ScoMo reveals his “first and last chance” Ministry

Newly appointed Prime Minister Scott Morrison didn’t waste any time in announcing his first ministry late Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours after being sworn in as our 30th Prime Minister. It’s a ministry to “restore stability to the Government”; one that promotes several ‘up and comers’, while leaving some instrumental players from last week’s coup out in the cold.

It’s also a ministry that in many ways plays to strength. One of the Coalition’s strongest performers, Mathias Cormann, retains the Finance portfolio and will be an experienced hand guiding Josh Frydenberg as Treasurer. Meanwhile, Greg Hunt will continue his good work in Health, but will be stretched by one less minister in the Health portfolio. Ken Wyatt is a well-liked minister in Aged Care and Indigenous Affairs and stays put. Christian Porter holds onto Attorney General.

The loss of Julie Bishop has forced changes in the Foreign Affairs Portfolio. Marise Payne is the incoming Minister for Foreign Affairs and now the most senior female member of Cabinet. Christopher Pyne switches from Defence Industries to Defence Minister, with Queenslander Steve Ciobo leaving the Trade portfolio for Defence Industries, a mere six months after Queensland won the $5 billion Land 400 armoured vehicle contract.

The Nationals have held onto the portfolios of Agriculture and Water Resources (David Littleproud leading the charge on the drought response); Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development (Deputy PM Michael McCormack); and Regional Services and Local Government (Bridget McKenzie).

It’s also a ministry that has a few subtle changes that show ScoMo’s hand. Peter Dutton has been forced to share the Home Affairs portfolio with two Morrison backers; David Coleman takes responsibility for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, and Linda Reynolds is the Assistant Minister.

The Energy and Environment portfolio will revert to being held by two Ministers, with conservative MP Angus Taylor the “Minister for getting electricity prices down” (Energy), while Melissa Price joins the Cabinet for the first time as Minister for Environment. Both ministers will sit in the Cabinet. Taylor was one of the vocal opponents to the Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy – which widely divided the Liberal Party and led to some of the furore moving into the leadership spill(s) of last week – so all eyes will be on what Taylor does in his new role.

Simon Birmingham – the architect of the school funding reforms – has been promoted to Trade, Tourism and Investment, leaving Victorian Dan Tehan to pick up the negotiations with the Catholic schools’ sector as the new Education Minister. Kelly O’Dwyer has been promoted to Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations with industrial relations reinstalled in the title, which may be a signal of what’s to come. She replaces Michaelia Cash who will hold Small Business, Skills and Vocational Education (a return of small business to the Cabinet).

There is no room in the ministry for Tony Abbott (unsurprisingly) or chief Dutton supporter, Michael Sukkar, who loses his Assistant Ministry role. While Nationals MP, Keith Pitt resigned over energy prices, Craig Laundy – a close supporter of the former PM – asked not to be considered. Interestingly, Barnaby Joyce has been tasked as a special envoy for drought assistance and recovery. The PM indicated that Tony Abbott could also have a similar job, but that has not been settled yet.

The Public Service will spend the coming days developing briefs for new ministers and urging action on key policies. After last week, the message from the PM is clear – it’s time to get back to business.

The Ministry Line-up

Bolded Ministers are Cabinet members

Prime Minister and Cabinet · The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister

· Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion MP, Minister for Indigenous Affairs

· Mr Steve Irons MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister

Treasury · The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Treasurer

· The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Assistant Treasurer

· Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance

Finance and the Public Service · Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service

· The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Special Minister of State

· Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance

Agriculture and Water Resources · The Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

· Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Attorney General · The Hon Christian Porter MP, Attorney-General
Communications and the Arts · Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts
Defence · The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence

· The Hon Steve Ciobo MP, Minister for Defence Industries

· The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

· The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Defence Personnel

· The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

· Senator David Fawcett, Assistant Minister for Defence

Education · The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education and Training
Environment · The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for the Environment

· The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy

Families and Social Services · The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Families and Social Services

· The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Digital Transformation

· Ms Sarah Henderson MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services

· Ms Michelle Landry MP, Assistant Minister for Children and Families

Foreign Affairs and Trade · Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs

· Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

· Senator the Hon Anne Ruston MP, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific

· The Hon Mark Coulton MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Health · The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health

· The Hon Ken Wyatt MP, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care

· The Hon Ken Wyatt MP, Minister for Indigenous Health

Home Affairs · The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Home Affairs

· The Hon David Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

· Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs

Industry, Science and Technology · Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

· The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development


· The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

· Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation

· The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population

· The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories

· Mr Andrew Broad MP, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister

· Mr Scott Buchholz MP, Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport

Jobs and Small Business · The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, Minister for Women

· Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education

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