Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new Cabinet was sworn in on Aug. 28 at Government House in Canberra following a week of political upheaval that resulted in the emergence as Australia’s sixth leader in less than 10 years.
On the same day at their first cabinet meeting, Morrison gave all of his cabinet ministers a pin with an Australian flag.
“For each of you today, I gave you a lapel pin with the Australian flag on it,” Morrison said.
PM @ScottMorrisonMP says he gave each Minister an Australian flag lapel pin at their swearing in today: "The reason I wear it is because it reminds me every single day whose side I'm on. I'm on the side of the Australian people." #auspol @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/8wptxNcLUB
— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) August 28, 2018
“I’m on the side of the Australian people, that’s what I’m saying to myself, that’s who I think about first,” he said. “Now you’re standing with me, to create an even stronger Australia.”
The next generation of Liberal and National Party leadership sat around the Cabinet table today. It's time to get to work. pic.twitter.com/zQeHFNEYBj
The new government will return to Parliament House on Sep. 10.
Morrison’s 23-member Cabinet lists new ministers in key portfolios, including defence, immigration, energy, and foreign affairs.
Former defence minister Marise Payne has been appointed the role of foreign minister, the position that was vacated after Julie Bishop resigned. Bishop had advised Morrison that Payne was the best person for the role in part from her three years experience as defence minister.
Peter Dutton has been returned to his role as home affairs minister, however his responsibilities in immigration and citizenship have been assigned to David Coleman.
The new minister for energy is Angus Taylor. Taylor was previously the minister for law enforcement and cybersecurity.
Morrison has dubbed Taylor “the minister for getting electricity prices down.” Taylor has private sector expertise in energy policy and will be entrusted the role of ensuring reliable energy supply and affordable prices.
Emissions reduction will no longer be tied to the energy portfolio after being moved back to the environment portfolio.
The new minister for environment is Melissa Price, who held the position of assistant minister for the environment under the Turnbull government.
Andrews, whose previous role was as an assistant minister, will serve as minister of industry, science and technology, which means science has been returned to the Cabinet. The position was previously omitted under the Turnbull government. Andrews as an engineer and had specialised in industrial relations prior to entering Parliament in 2010.
Fletcher is the new minister for families and social services.
The other Cabinet appointments announced by Morrison include:
- Michael McCormack: Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development
- Josh Frydenberg: Treasurer
- Christian Porter: Attorney-General
- Nigel Scullion: Indigenous Affairs
- Bridget McKenzie: Regional Services, Sport, Local Government, Decentralisation
- Simon Birmingham: Trade, Tourism, Investment
- Mitch Fifield: Communications; Arts
- Matthew Canavan: Resources and Northern Australia
- David Littleproud: Agriculture; Water
- Kelly O’Dwyer: Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women
- Michaelia Cash: Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education
- Dan Tehan: Education
The change in leadership for Australia comes less than a year ahead of an election due in May 2019. The new leadership under Morrison will now face the task of uniting the party and winning the approval of the Australian public.
Morrison said some of his key early priorities would be in the areas of energy, health, and ensuring a supportive business environment.
Prior to the leadership spill, the outgoing Turnbull government struggled in passing key policies relating to energy and company tax, resulting in decisions to backtrack on critical components within both policies. Morrison and Frydenberg had been heavily involved in developing the two policies that are likely to influence the results of the next election.
NTD.tv’s Janita Kan contributed to this report.