Australian PM announces cabinet reshuffle to shape pandemic recovery

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Dan Tehan will take over as Trade Minister under a cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday.

The Prime Minister will also elevate fresh faces to his frontbench including former SAS captain Andrew Hastie and Queenslander Amanda Stoker to assistant ministerial roles.

Mr Tehan will take on the key trade portfolio, putting the former diplomat at the forefront of repairing Australia’s relationship with China. Alan Tudge takes over Mr Tehan’s former portfolio of education, now combined with youth affairs.

In a larger than expected change-up, Greg Hunt will be given the difficult Aged Care portfolio alongside his current Health portfolio. Tasmanian senator Richard Colbeck retains responsibility for aged care services, including the delivery of residential and home care packages and regulation of the sector.

“This is about elevating aged care into the cabinet … because of the seriousness of this issue, the size and scale of the reform program that will need to be implemented post the royal commission report,” Mr Morrison said, denying that Senator Colbeck had been demoted after a rocky performance during the pandemic.

“One of the things that I think happen, often, when there are reshuffles is there is tendency to look at these things always in personal terms and the internal politics and, to be honest, what matters is aged care and the care of elderly Australians,” he said.

Paul Fletcher takes back responsibility for urban infrastructure and cities, which he held under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, in addition to his existing portfolios of communications and arts.

David Coleman, who has been on personal leave for a year, will return to Parliament and the outer ministry as assistant minister for mental health and suicide prevention. Alex Hawke takes on Mr Coleman’s former role as immigration minister while ACT senator Zed Seselja is elevated to the ministry to take on the international development and Pacific portfolios.

Jane Hume will also be elevated into the ministry, although she keeps the same responsibilities for superannuation and financial services, with the digital economy added.

Mr Hastie becomes the assistant minister for defence, after fellow West Australian Steve Irons stood aside, while Senator Stoker will assist Attorney-General Christian Porter.

There are no changes to the Nationals on the frontbench.

Mr Morrison characterised the reshuffle as a “modest set of changes”, saying it was important at this time to have stability, certainty and constancy.

Sourced By: Sydney Mornign Herald

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