Crucial modifications in Scott Morrison’s restricted reshuffle are centred on two important and controversial points – aged care and commerce – that can severely check the federal government in coming months.
Aged care has been elevated to cupboard and put within the protected fingers of Well being Minister Greg Hunt, who has carried out strongly through the pandemic.
The present Aged Care Minister, Richard Colbeck, retains accountability for aged care providers, together with supply of residential and residential care packages and the regulation of the sector.
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With the royal fee because of ship its remaining report in February, Hunt will spearhead the coverage response. Importantly, he’ll carry the federal government’s public case as it really works by way of one of the vital tough coverage challenges of early 2021.
The selection of Dan Tehan for commerce is logical. He comes with an in depth background within the space earlier than his parliamentary profession, together with serving within the Overseas Affairs and Commerce Division, and as an adviser to a former commerce minister, Mark Vaile.
Tehan arrives within the portfolio – shed by Simon Birmingham who’s now Finance Minister – when commerce tensions with China are an all-time excessive, and Australia is trying to negotiate commerce agreements with Europe and the UK.
Tehan’s schooling portfolio goes to Alan Tudge, who may even have accountability for youth (beforehand below Colbeck). The current 4 Corners expose about Tudge’s personal life hasn’t affected his ministerial profession. Questioned at his information convention on Friday, Morrison mentioned these matter associated to years in the past.
Morrison has additionally elevated some spear carriers of the fitting.
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Queensland senator Amanda Stoker is promoted from the backbench to change into Assistant Minister to the Legal professional-Common. ACT senator Zed Seselja strikes from being an Assistant Minister to change into Minister for Worldwide Improvement and the Pacific.
Rewarding the Liberal get together proper could be politically helpful subsequent yr, if Morrison wants the conservatives’ forbearance for a shift on local weather coverage.
Andrew Hastie can also be from the Liberals’ conservative wing, however his transfer up from the backbench might be seen by way of a overseas coverage prism.
He has been an outspoken hawk on China and the Chinese language might be significantly noting his appointment as Assistant Minister for Defence.
Hastie has been effectively revered on each side of politics as chair of parliament’s influential intelligence and safety committee.
A former soldier within the SAS who served in Afghanistan, he’ll probably be capable of assist handle the fallout from the Brereton report on alleged Australian struggle crimes, which is proving tough for the federal government.
The brand new Immigration Minister might be Alex Hawke, Morrison’s robust factional ally. This place has been in limbo for a yr, within the fingers of an performing minister, whereas David Coleman has been on private depart.
Coleman is to change into Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Psychological Well being and Suicide Prevention, an space Morrison has given excessive precedence within the pandemic.
It’s notable Ben Morton, who may be very near Morrison, has not been moved as much as the junior ministry. He stays as Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cupboard, the place he can have a hen’s eye view on many issues, as distinct from the narrower focus demanded by a ministerial portfolio.
Morton formally takes over from Hunt to change into Assistant Minister for the Public Service — a job he has had anyway whereas Hunt has been preoccupied with the well being disaster. A former Liberal get together director in Western Australia, Morton may even have the politically-sensitive place of Assistant Minister for Electoral Issues.
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Jane Hume strikes up from assistant minister, with expanded obligations as Minister for Superannuation, Monetary Companies and the Digital Financial system.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher provides city infrastructure and cities to his obligations, however loses cyber security.
Morrison emphasised key portfolios referring to the financial system and safety remained unchanged, as did the positions held by the Nationals, and the variety of girls in cupboard.
He mentioned the modifications mirrored a “very robust concentrate on stability in key portfolios, along with a dedication to deliver ahead some new expertise”.
The brand new Morrison ministry checklist may be discovered right here.
Michelle Grattan doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.