Turnbull Government Ministerial Reshuffle
19 December 2017
Following a great deal of speculation, the Prime Minister has revealed his intention to recommend outgoing Attorney-General George Brandis as Australia’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Christian Porter will assume the role of Attorney-General, while Dan Tehan will fill Mr Porter’s former role as Minister for Social Services.
Other major changes in the expanded 23-member cabinet include Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s appointment as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, replacing Victorian Nationals MP Darren Chester, who has been dropped from the ministry. Queensland Nationals MP David Littleproud will enter the Cabinet, taking over Mr Joyce’s previous portfolio responsibilities of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Newly-elected Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie also takes a seat at the Cabinet table, with responsibility for the Sport; Rural Health; and Regional Communications portfolios. The Prime Minister has confirmed Senator Arthur Sinodinos – who has been on extended leave due to ill-health – will not return to the Cabinet in 2018. WA Senator Michaelia Cash has been appointed to the newly-created role of Minister for Jobs and Innovation and will be assisted by Zed Seselja, the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation.
Other new faces in the ministry include Queensland Nationals MP John McVeigh – appointed Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government – and Melissa Price, who will join the ministry as Assistant Minister for the Environment. Another new entrant is Nationals MP Damian Drum, who becomes Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
Minister Michael Keenan will move from the outer ministry into Cabinet to become the Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, while David Gillespie has been appointed Assistant Minister for Children and Families, supporting Dan Tehan in his new role as Minister for Social Services. Paul Fletcher will continue in his portfolio of Urban Infrastructure, with the added responsibility of Cities.
As has been previously announced, Peter Dutton becomes the new Minister for Home Affairs, heading up the new ‘super ministry’, which includes responsibility for Immigration, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Federal Police and ASIO. Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer will have additional responsibilities as the new Minister for Women.
Following the election of Senator Scott Ryan as President of the Senate, Senator Mathias Cormann has been appointed to take over the role of Special Minister of State. Senator Cormann will also serve as Leader of the Government in the Senate.
MPs who have been promoted to fill junior ministerial vacancies include Craig Laundy as Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace Relations and Deregulation; Angus Taylor as Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security; and Alan Tudge as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.