PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a major reshuffle of the Federal Cabinet ahead of the new year.
A handful of fresh faces have been promoted to the Cabinet, while a number of others have been shown the door.
Speaking on Tuesday night, Mr Turnbull said the refresh, which includes the introduction of two new, major portfolios on job creation and national security, reflected the “priorities and values” of his government.
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Under the reshuffle, Peter Dutton will become Minister for Home Affairs, bringing together for the first time the nation’s security, border and intelligence agencies under one department.
Senator Michaelia Cash will become Minister for Jobs and Innovation, charged with harnessing the policies of the government to create more jobs and job opportunities.
The PM said he was also “delighted” to welcome Barnaby Joyce back as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
Christian Porter will become Attorney General, a role he previously held in the West Australian State Government.
Mathias Cormann will take on the additional role Special Minister of State, while Kelly O’Dwyer will take on the additional role of Minister for Women, which was previously held by Senator Cash.
Mr Turnbull also welcomed five fresh faces to Cabinet, including Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie who will join Cabinet as Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications.
Michael Keenan will join Cabinet as Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, while Dan Tehan will become Minister for Social Services.
John McVeigh will join Cabinet as Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, and David Littleproud will become Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos and Senator George Brandis will not be returning to Cabinet in 2018.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos wrote to the Prime Minister this week, advising his medical treatment was taking longer than anticipated and that he is unlikely to be able to return from leave until the middle of next year.
“In those circumstances, he has asked that he not be included in this new ministry,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Senator Sinodinos is one of this generation’s most accomplished and experienced public servants and his contributions to the Cabinet have been sorely missed since his illness was first diagnosed.
“Naturally, we wish him well in his recovery and I look forward to him regaining full health and returning to a senior Ministerial or other government role in the future.”
Departing alongside Senator Sinodinos is Senator George Brandis, who after 17 years of distinguished service in the Senate, has signalled his plans to stand down.
“Senator Brandis has been a stalwart of this Government in the Senate, particularly in the past couple of years given the difficulties of negotiating with a large and, at times, unpredictable crossbench,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Senator Brandis’ legacy as Attorney General will be remembered for two things in particular. First, it was on his watch as Attorney, and in so small measure thanks to his eloquent advocacy over many years, that Australia legislated for marriage equality.
“Secondly, as the Minister responsible for domestic national security since 2013, he undertook the most comprehensive reforms of our national security laws to keep Australians safe.
“I hope that Senator Brandis’ public service to the nation is not over.
“Early in the new year, I intend to recommend to the Governor-General that he be appointed as Australia’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. I know he will excel at this role.”
Senator Brandis’ position as Leader of the Senate will be filled by Senator Cormann, who has been integral in steering the Government’s agenda through the Senate.
Craig Laundy has been promoted to the role of Minister for Small & Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation.
And, after serving as Minister for Small Business since last year, Michael McCormack will become Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel and will assist me in this final year of the ANZAC centenary.
Melissa Price joins the Ministry as Assistant Minister for the Environment, and Dr David Gillespie will step into the new role of Assistant Minister for Children and Families.
Meanwhile, Damian Drum, currently the Chief Nationals Whip, will join the ministry as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
David Coleman is also elevated to the ministry as Assistant Minister for Finance, while Luke Hartsuyker moves to the role of Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.