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Prime Minister Tony Abbott On The Revamp of the Cabinet

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott

I am pleased to announce changes to the Ministry that I will recommend to the Governor-General. 

These changes will put jobs and families at the centre of the Government’s agenda for 2015.  

The Hon Scott Morrison MP will be promoted to Minister for Social Services. 

Mr Morrison will devote all of his energy, policy skill and determination to this new portfolio which will have a renewed focus on families. In addition to responsibility for welfare, family support, seniors, aged care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), childcare will also be added to his portfolio.  

Importantly, Mr Morrison will have carriage of the families package the Government will release next year to help ease the cost of living for Australian families by improving the affordability and accessibility of childcare.  

I can think of no stronger advocate than Scott Morrison. His movement into an economic portfolio will see him join the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet, replacing the Hon Peter Dutton MP.  

The Hon Peter Dutton MP will be appointed as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. A senior experienced minister and former police detective, the Australian people can be confident that Mr Dutton will be resolute in protecting Australia’s borders. He will join the National Security Committee of Cabinet.  

The Hon Sussan Ley MP will be promoted into Cabinet and become the Minister for Health and the Minister for Sport. I have been impressed with Minister Ley’s transition into government and her excellent policy work in the education portfolio. Based in regional NSW with a varied life before entering politics that included stints as an air-traffic controller, farmer and a career with the Australian Tax Office, Sussan is a strong addition to my Cabinet team. 

Following the resignation of Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP will be appointed as Assistant Treasurer. As my Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Frydenberg has delivered around

$2 billion in red tape reduction in just one year. He will be an important part of 2015 Budget preparations and will join the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet. 

The Education portfolio will take on the added responsibility of skills and training.  

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP will become Minister for Education and Training and Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham will be promoted into the position of Assistant Minister for Education and Training. Senator Birmingham will ensure that young Australians have the support they need to take on a trade career because we must have skilled workers if we want our economy to keep growing. 

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP will assume the title of Minister for Industry and Science.  

I record my gratitude to Senator the Hon David Johnston who will stand down as Minister for Defence. Senator Johnston has done a fine job in restoring investment in the Australian Defence Force after six years of neglect and has effectively managed the deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel to Europe and Iraq. 

The Hon Kevin Andrews MP will become the Minister for Defence. He is one of the most experienced ministers in the Government and his appointment will ensure we continue to build a safe and secure Australia in a challenging world.  

I thank Senator the Hon Brett Mason for his work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, particularly his work to establish the New Colombo Plan.  

I look forward to Senator Johnston and Senator Mason’s continued service to the Government in the months and years ahead.  

The Hon Steven Ciobo MP will be promoted to the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In recognition of his work on Australia’s recent G20 in Brisbane, he will also take on the dual appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment to build on the Government’s achievement of three free trade agreements.  

The Hon Bob Baldwin MP will become Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and provide a strong focus on the Green Army programme.  

I welcome three new appointments to my frontbench.  

The Hon Christian Porter MP will be appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. With a distinguished career as a former Treasurer and Attorney-General in the State Government of Western Australia, his intellect and drive will continue the work already undertaken in deregulation.   

Ms Kelly O’Dwyer MP will be appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer in recognition of her work as Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.  

Mrs Karen Andrews MP, a former engineer, will take on the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science. She has brought real life experience to her recent role as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Public Works and I look forward to her contribution to science policy.  

The swearing in of the new ministry will take place on Tuesday 23 December 2014.