Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his new ministry which includes a new combined energy and environment portfolio, and newly appointed ministers for resources and Northern Australia, Industry, Innovation and Science, and Defence.
A number of ministers have also been re-appointed to their previous portfolios including Barnaby Joyce who retained his role as Minister for Agriculture and Water.
Mr Turnbull announced Former Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, has been appointed to the new role of MInister for Defence Industry.
This new portfolio will be responsible for overseeing Australia’s new Defence Industry Plan that came out of the Defence White Paper, which includes overseeing the construction of pump jet propelled submarines in South Australia.
Mr Pyne said, “Our defence industry has the capacity to be an economic and innovation driver as we shift from the post mining construction boom period into a new age of innovation.
“As minister I will be focused on ensuring we grasp this once in a generation opportunity and ensure our plans for job creation and economic growth are realised.”
Mr Turnbull has also appointed Former Minister for Environment Greg Hunt as the new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and New South Wales Federal Member for Reid, Craig Laundy, as the Assistant Minister.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Hunt “has a keen understanding of innovation, he has a keen understanding of science and technology and he will give new leadership to that important portfolio and those important agendas so central to our economic plan.”
The previously separate Environment and Energy portfolios have been combined to cover key energy policy areas including energy security and domestic energy markets, renewable energy targets, clean energy development and financing, and emission reduction mechanisms.
Former Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg has been appointed the minister for the new Environment and Energy portfolio.
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) has welcomed this portfolio change and congratulated Mr Frydenberg on his new role.
APGA Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said, “This is a welcome move and we are also pleased that Minister Josh Frydenberg will take on this responsibility as it provides continuity for the energy – and gas – sector.
“We are sure he will find that this is an appropriate change. Energy belongs in the Environment portfolio.”
Senator Matt Canavan has now taken over Mr Frydenberg’s previous Resources and Northern Australia portfolio.
Queensland’s Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said Mr Canavan’s appointment will ensure the Livingstone region will have a strong voice in the new Federal Cabinet.
“With our natural resources and the region’s potential to play a key role in the future development of Northern Australia, having a strong voice directly in Cabinet will help ensure we are able to realise our full potential to play that pivotal role,” Mr Ludwig said.
The Major Projects, Territories and Local Government portfolio has also been clarified and will now become the Urban Infrastructure portfolio, with Paul Fletcher continuing his role as minister.
Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia Ken Morrison said, “We welcome Minister Paul Fletcher’s new focus on urban infrastructure which fits well alongside the Prime Minister’s cities agenda led by Assistant Minister, Angus Taylor.
“The bulk of Australia’s population growth will occur in our national cities and this is a key challenge for our national government.”