Your New Ministry Just Got Announced And Guess Who’s Back, Kind Of
He's been promoted. Kind of. It's weird.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has snubbed Tony Abbott — but promoted Barnaby Joyce — when announcing his new ministry this afternoon.
The “next generation team” retains plenty of old faces. While stripped of his immigration responsibilities, Peter Dutton will retain his portfolio of Home Affairs, and former Defence minister Marise Payne has been rotated into the Foreign Minister portfolio, which became vacant after former deputy Liberal party leader Julie Bishop resigned earlier today.
“We begin the work of healing that is needed after these most recent events,” Morrison told gathered media at Parliament House. “We will tackle the big challenges that are before us with some new ideas and a fresh emphasis, while restoring some of the emphasis of a time past.”
So What’s Barnaby Joyce Doing?
Setting out a government agenda of maintaining a strong economy, keeping Australia safe and keeping Australians together, Morrison explained that former Nationals leader Joyce would take up the role of Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery.
Morrison said that Joyce was taking up the role because of his “great capacity… to really listen and convey messages and communicate and help us console and put our arms around people who are being affected by drought.”
The last time a special envoy was appointed was in 2015, when former government whip Philip Ruddock was appointed Special Envoy for Citizenship and Community Engagement to deal with a controversial citizenship proposal.
Morrison left the door open for Abbott (who missed out on a ministry position) to be given a similar position.
The position is not formerly part of the ministry.
How Many Women?
Overall, there are 46 positions in the new ministry, of which nine are women.
Here’s the full list:
Sussan Ley, the former Minister for Health who resigned from Turnbull’s frontbench after an expenses scandal, is back as Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories.
The new ministry comes after one of the most chaotic weeks Australian politics has ever seen. Morrison, Bishop and Dutton all put their hands up for Liberal party leadership once Turnbull was removed from the position in a 45-40 vote.
After Bishop was eliminated for receiving the least amount of party room ballots in the first round of voting, Morrison bested Dutton 45 votes to 40.
Morrison also thanked former Foreign Affairs Minister Bishop for her “extraordinary” contribution to Australian life.
Craig Laundy and John McVeigh both told Morrison that they did not wish to be entertained for a position in the ministry due to personal reasons.
The ministry will be sworn in on Tuesday.