There has never been a better time to be a National Party member of Australia’s coalition government, with two more ministries to their tally. After doing much better at the recent election than their bigger siblings in the Liberal Party, the Nats have swelled their ranks in the latest Turnbull ministry. As the PM said today, the arithmetic determined the makeup of the team.
You will recall that throughout the campaign, the PM confidently declared that the ministry he took to the election would remain the ministry he governed with. He repeated that statement at his announcement today. However the tight finish, loss of three assistant ministers, and what is reported to be some bad blood from the conservative faction of the Party, has put an end to that.
Speculation that former Health Minister, Sussan Ley would be shifted from the big budget portfolio after the success of Labor’s attack on the government’s handling of health did not eventuate. The PM announced that he has secured a better relationship with the AMA, and made a commitment to mental health and health homecare schemes. The two big changes were Christopher Pyne, Josh Frydneberg and Greg Hunt:
Industry Minister Pyne takes on Defence Industries, keeping a watch on jobs for his home state of South Australia where the next generation of submarines will be built.
Greg Hunt will take on Mr Pyne’s old portfolio of Industry Innovation and Science, handing his environment portfolio to Josh Frydenberg. Minister Frydenberg will head an expanded environment portfolio to include energy and resources.
Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer adds Revenue and Financial Services to her portfolio.
Other new ministers include:
Paul Fletcher -Urban Infrastructure.
Scott Ryan -Special Minister of State in the Finance Portfolio.
Dan Tehan – Defence Personnel (as well as his current Veterans Affairs portfolio)
Michael McCormack- Small Business
Karen Andrews – Vocational Education and Skills.
Alex Hawke – Immigration and Border Protection.
Keith Pitt – Trade, Investment and Tourism.
Craig Laundy – Industry, Innovation and Science.
Luke Hartsuyker – Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
Zed Seselja – Social Services and Multicultural Affairs.
Dr David Gillespie – Rural Health
Parliament is set to resume on Tuesday August 30, when the new and interesting Senate (still being counted) will also be in place. By then we should know if the PM has 76 or 77 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives. Herbert, the final seat to be decided is still precarious with the Liberal Party 12 votes ahead this afternoon.
Written by Jacquelynne Willcox, Managing Director and Executive Vice President, Powell Tate Australia.