Blog Archives

New Federal Ministry for Christmas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today announced a reshuffled Ministry, with several retirements/replacements, and new faces.  Amongst the biggest or most surprising changes:

  • Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce becomes Infrastructure and Transport Minister and his Agriculture portfolio goes to first-term Queensland Liberal National Party MP David Littleproud;
  • George Brandis retires from Attorney General and will become Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK;
  • Arthur Sinodinos has resigned from the Ministry as he battles cancer;
  • Daren Chester has been dumped from the Ministry;
  • Christian Porter will become Attorney General, losing Social Services to Dan Tehan;
  • New Deputy Leader of the Nationals Bridget McKenzie becomes Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications;
  • Queenslander Senator Matt Canavan returns to his Resources and Northern Australia portfolios;
  • Queensland Member of Parliament John McVeigh picks up the Regional Development, Territories and Local Government portfolios;
  • Michaelia Cash picks up Innovation, loses Women to Kelly’ODwyer, and sheds her industrial relations responsibilities to new Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation Craig Laundy;
  • Michael Keenan loses the Justice portfolio but joins Cabinet as Minister for Human Services, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformations.

The full list is:

Cabinet

  • Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Transport Minister – Barnaby Joyce
  • Treasurer – Scott Morrison
  • Foreign Minister – Julie Bishop
  • Attorney-General – Christian Porter
  • Home Affairs Minister – Peter Dutton
  • Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications Minister – Bridget McKenzie
  • Human Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformations – Michael Keenan
  • Social Services Minister – Dan Tehan
  • Agriculture and Water Minister – David Littleproud
  • Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister – John McVeigh
  • Indigenous Affairs Minister – Nigel Scullion
  • Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister – Steve Ciobo
  • Finance Minister and Special Minister of State – Mathias Cormann
  • Revenue and Financial Services Minister and Minister for Women – Kelly O’Dwyer
  • Defence Industry Minister – Christopher Pyne
  • Defence Minister – Marise Payne
  • Resources and Northern Australia Minister – Matt Canavan
  • Energy and Environment Minister – Josh Frydenberg
  • Health Minister – Greg Hunt
  • Communications and Arts Minister – Mitch Fifield
  • Jobs and Innovation Minister – Michaelia Cash
  • Education and Training Minister – Simon Birmingham

 

Outer Ministry

  • Minister for Urban Infrastructure – Paul Fletcher
  • Minister for International Development and the Pacific – Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
  • Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation – Craig Laundy
  • Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security – Angus Taylor
  • Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs – Alan Tudge
  • Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel – Michael McCormack
  • Aged Care and Indigenous Health Minister – Ken Wyatt

 

Assistant Ministers

  • Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister – James McGrath
  • Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister – Damian Drum
  • Assistant Minister to the Treasurer – Michael Sukkar
  • Assistant Minister for Finance – David Coleman
  • Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment – Luke Hartsuyker
  • Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs – Zed Seselja
  • Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – Anne Ruston
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Skills and Training – Karen Andrews
  • Assistant Minister for Children and Families – David Gillespie
  • Assistant Minister for Immigration – Alex Hawke
  • Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services – Jane Prentice
  • Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation – Zed Seselja
  • Assistant Minister for Environment – Melissa Price

 

 

 

New Queensland LNP Opposition Front Bench

Lawrence Springborg

Lawrence Springborg

Queensland Liberal National Party Leader Lawrence Springborg has announced the new Opposition front bench and leadership team, on Friday 20 February 2015.

  • Opposition Leader: Lawrence Springborg;
  • Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Commonwealth Games: John-Paul Langbroek;
  • Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage Protection and National Parks: Stephen Bennett;
  • Shadow Minister for Police, Fire, Emergency Services and Corrective Services: Jarrod Bleijie;
  • Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, State Development and Northern Development: Andrew Cripps;
  • Shadow Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services: Tracy Davis;
  • Shadow Minister for Transport: Scott Emerson;
  • Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Deb Frecklington;
  • Shadow Minister for Education & Training: Tim Mander;
  • Shadow Minister for Health: Mark McArdle;
  • Shadow Minister for Science, Information Technology and Innovation: John McVeigh;
  • Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works: Rob Molhoek;
  • Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Planning, Small Business, Employment and Trade: Tim Nicholls;
  • Shadow Minister for Energy and Water Supply: Andrew Powell;
  • Shadow Minister for Local Government and Main Roads, Community Recovery and Resilience: Fiona Simpson;
  • Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs: Tarnya Smith;
  • Shadow Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Sport and Racing: Jann Stuckey;
  • Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Justice, Industrial Relations and Arts: Ian Walker;
  • Shadow Assistant Minister Assisting the Opposition Leader in North Queensland: Jason Costigan;
  • Leader of Opposition Business: Ray Stevens;
  • Chairman of the Parliamentary Policy Committee, Strategy and Coordination: Jeff Seeney;
  • Whip: Ian Rickuss; and
  • Deputy Whip: Steve Minnikin.

The Liberal National Party has chosen to not match the Ministerial portfolios in the new Palaszczuk Government, which is an uncommon tactic in Australian politics.  They say 14 Ministers is too few and some Ministers will be overloaded.  Unlike their previous Newman Government, and matching the Palaszczuk Government, they have appointed one Assistant Minister only.

Jeff Seeney - photo from Jeff's website

Jeff Seeney – from Jeff’s website

Former Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Steve Dickson and former Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes are no longer on the front bench; former Deputy Premier, and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney has been given the new role of chair of the LNP’s parliamentary policy committee, strategy and co-ordination.

Several former Newman Government ministers have kept the same portfolios they had as Ministers, which might be expected to give the Opposition a political edge, as new Labor Ministers work to get across their portfolios.  Several Assistant Ministers in the Newman Government are now Shadow Ministers in Opposition.

New faces in the Shadow Ministry:

  • Shadow Minister for Environment, Heritage Protection and National Parks: Stephen Bennett;
  • Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Deb Frecklington (previously an Assistant Minister);
  • Shadow Minister for Education & Training: Tim Mander (previously an Assistant Minister);
  • Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works: Rob Molhoek (previously an Assistant Minister);
  • Shadow Minister for Local Government and Main Roads, Community Recovery and Resilience: Fiona Simpson (previously Speaker);
  • Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs: Tarnya Smith (previously an Assistant Minister); and
  • Shadow Assistant Minister Assisting the Opposition Leader in North Queensland: Jason Costigan.

You can compare the current team with Campbell Newman’s 2012 team, here, not forgetting there were a couple of mid-stream changes.

The Queensland Parliament has now restored Member of Parliament biographies, post-election, and you can find them here.

 

Queensland Labor Government: First Ministry

annastacia-election-nightThe new Labor Government in Queensland has chosen their first Ministry on Sunday, 15 February 2015.

You can download short biographies of the new Cabinet members here.

Ministers are:

  • Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier and Minister for Arts;
  • Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, Minister for Trade, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning;
  • Curtis Pitt, Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations*,  and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships;
  • Jo-Ann Miller, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services;
  • Yvette D’Ath, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Training and Skills;
  • Bill Byrne, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Minister for Sport and Racing;
  • Anthony Lyneham, Minister for State Development, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines;
  • Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety, Minister for Multicultural Affairs;
  • Steven Miles, Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef;
  • Cameron Dick, Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services;
  • Kate Jones, Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Small Business, Minister for the Commonwealth Games;
  • Coralee O’Rourke, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors, Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland;
  • Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Science and Innovation; and
  • Mark Bailey, Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Minister for Energy and Water Supply.

Stirling Hinchliffe is not in Cabinet, but is Leader of the House and Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier.

Ministers will be sworn in tomorrow, Monday 16 February 2015 at 11.00 am.

The Cabinet will first meet on Monday 23 February, 2015; Parliamentary sitting dates have not yet been set.

 

* Updated: Early media reports omitted Employment and Industrial Relations from Curtis Pitt’s portfolio.

Abbott Government Reshuffle Sets Up A Battle Of Whys

Photo: Charles Haymond U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia

Photo: Charles Haymond U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia

As the new Abbot Ministry ages, commentary about the reshuffle and it’s implications has remained depressingly shallow, mostly mere regurgitation* of the Government’s talking points; analysis has been almost non-existent.

This is the best I’ve spotted so far, because it includes research, depth, thought, evaluation, nuance and analysis**: www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-22/matthewson-ministry-reshuffle-built-on-paranoia-not-progress/5982500 – it is well worth a close read***.

With the poor standing of the Abbott Government in polls, now consistent and long-standing, they’re obviously in need of change: a change of direction / policy / priority, a circuit breaker, improved communications, or other options, depending on where you see their problem lying.

If this report is correct Prime Minister Abbott and his advisors have decided their problems are principally with communications: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-set-to-reshuffle-his-office-amid-criticism-of-communications-strategy-20141222-12c8i2.html; we’ll know soon enough, if the predictions in James Massola’s article are borne out.

When you hold the Massola article up to Paula Matthewson’s, you see a consistent picture: a Government committed to their political and ideological agenda, and convinced they can recover their standing with voters by better explaining what they are about.

This makes the run-up to Australia’s next Federal Election a fascinating contest between utterly incompatible views: whether current poor polling numbers for the Abbott Government reflect:

  • discontent with what the Government are doing or how they are doing it, vs.
  • misunderstanding of what they are doing and why.

The next election is likely to tell us which explanation is true.

 

*  I imagine the Government isn’t as depressed about this as am I.
**  Unlike most Australian reporting and commentary …
***  as is a lot of Ms Matthewson’s stuff: http://dragonistasblog.com/

Reshuffled Australian Government

Tony-AbbottOn 21 December 2014, Prime Minister Abbott reshuffled his Ministry.

Here is a link to a PDF file with the new portfolios and Ministers, and with changes annotated http://bit.ly/1sVhrDL.

Here is a link to the previous Ministry http://bit.ly/1v8fzSe.

Here is a link to the Prime Minister’s announcement www.pm.gov.au/media/2014-12-21/changes-ministry-0.

The big losers were Arthur Sinodinos, Brett Mason and David Johnston – all of whom left the Ministry.

New faces are Christian Porter, Kelly O’Dwyer and Karen Andrews.

While some of the other moves are of great interest and significance for both individual portfolios and overall Government strategy, the biggest winner is clearly the new Minister for Health, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, who is promoted into Cabinet, the second woman member of the current Cabinet.

Updated:

Here’s some media commentary on the reshuffle, much of which is shallow, off the point, and/or pandering:

www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/cabinet-reshuffle-puts-focus-on-families/story-fn59niix-1227163842622

www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/forget-the-barnacles-tony-abbotts-refitting-the-ship/story-e6frg75f-1227163797980

http://theconversation.com/the-big-winner-in-abbotts-reshuffle-is-the-ambitious-scott-morrison-35757