The re-elected Australian Government has announced their new Ministry, bringing in new members tasked with delivering their commitments to:
- Create 1.25 million more jobs over the next five years
- Maintain budget surpluses and pay down debt
- Deliver tax relief for families and small businesses
- Guarantee increased funding for schools, hospitals, medicines and roads
- Keep Australians safe, including online, and keeping our borders secure
The Ministry includes Australia’s first female Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, while Marise Payne adds the role of Minister for Women to her responsibilities as Minister for Foreign Affairs. Australia has its first Indigenous Cabinet Minister in Ken Wyatt as Minister for Indigenous Australians. Ken will be supported by a new National Indigenous Australians Agency, attached to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
A key focus for all Ministers and their Departments will be lifting performance on government service delivery. This will include congestion busting on regulatory and bureaucratic roadblocks, making better use of technology and better integrating service delivery across portfolios. The goal is to make it easier to deal with and access the Government services Australians rely on. Ben Morton will be Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Stuart Robert joins the Cabinet as Minister for the National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Minister for Government Services. A new Services Australia agency will be established, along the lines of Services NSW, to drive greater efficiencies and integration of Government service delivery and making best use of technology and digital applications.
Top of the list for improving services will be ensuring delivery on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, working to the goal of the NDIS supporting 500,000 Australians by 2024/25. The NDIS is a major social reform and there is much work to do to improve the delivery of these services on the ground.
The Government’s economic team will be led by Josh Frydenberg as Treasurer and Mathias Cormann as Minister for Finance. They will be supported by Michaelia Cash as Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business in fulfilling their pledge to create 1.25 million more jobs over the next five years and will be supported by Steve Irons as Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships. Christian Porter will take on the role of Minister for Industrial Relations in addition to his duties as Attorney-General, to create fairer workplaces and enforce the rule of law through the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
The Deputy Prime Minister will continue in his role delivering the $100 billion National Infrastructure Programme, including the National Water Grid, supported by Alan Tudge, who has been promoted to Cabinet, to continue his work of congestion busting in cities and implementing the plan for Australia’s future population.
The economic team will also be supported by Michael Sukkar as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing to implement the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, as well as more affordable housing and Jane Hume is taking to the role of Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology.
Karen Andrews, as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology will work closely with industry stakeholders to create more and better paid jobs in traditional and emerging industries, and to continue championing science, technology, engineering and mathematics as key career paths for women.
As the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt will be focused on delivering the Closing the Gap refresh, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the states and territories.
As the National Broadband Network nears full roll out and social media becomes an even more prominent front in the fight to keep Australians safe, Paul Fletcher, as Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts brings extensive experience and insight to the task.
In social policy, Anne Ruston has been elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Family and Social Services and Luke Howarth as Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services.
As Minister for Health, Greg Hunt will lead the charge on mental health, in particular combating youth suicide. In coming months he will lead an implementation forum of the nation’s experts to deliver on the government’s youth and Indigenous mental health initiatives.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will also appoint a Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and a Minister for Youth and Sport in Richard Colbeck who will ensure there is a strong voice for the issues facing younger and older Australians, particularly as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety continues.
Dan Tehan, as Minister for Education, will focus on boosting the outcomes of Australian students, working closely with early childhood educators, states, territories and tertiary education providers.
Australia’s regions have suffered through fire and flood in recent months and David Littleproud as Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disasters and Emergency Management will serve as an important voice for regional communities at the Cabinet table. Matt Canavan as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia will continue the government’s work to support mining and resources industries and help develop Northern Australia.
Experienced foreign affairs and national security Ministers in Marise Payne as Minister for Foreign Affairs, former Army Reserves Brigadier Linda Reynolds as Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton as Minister for Home Affairs and Simon Birmingham as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment will help guide our country through the uncertain times and global economic headwinds. They will be supported by Alex Hawke as Minister for International Development and the Pacific and Assistant Minister for Defence helping drive the Pacific ‘step up’ agenda.
Sussan Ley will return to Cabinet as Minister for the Environment with a focus on practical and local environmental outcomes as well as waste reduction and recycling, assisted by Trevor Evans. Angus Taylor will continue as Minister for Energy and his portfolio will take on Emissions Reduction to ensure a strong focus on lowering Australians’ power bills and meeting the 2030 emissions targets. Warren Entsch will also serve as Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef.
It is important for the future of our country that these goals are met and delivered for Australia.