Australian PM Scott Morrison Gives Symbolic Pin to Members of His New Cabinet

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
August 28, 2018World News

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new Cabinet was sworn in on Aug. 28 at Government House in Canberra following a week of political upheaval that resulted in the emergence as Australia’s sixth leader in less than 10 years.

On the same day at their first cabinet meeting, Morrison gave all of his cabinet ministers a pin with an Australian flag.

“For each of you today, I gave you a lapel pin with the Australian flag on it,” Morrison said.

“I’m on the side of the Australian people, that’s what I’m saying to myself, that’s who I think about first,” he said. “Now you’re standing with me, to create an even stronger Australia.”

The new government will return to Parliament House on Sep. 10.

Cabinet Reshuffle

Morrison’s 23-member Cabinet lists new ministers in key portfolios, including defence, immigration, energy, and foreign affairs.

Christopher Pyne, who was previously minister for defence industry is the new defence minister. Steven Ciobo takes over the minister for defence industry.

Former defence minister Marise Payne has been appointed the role of foreign minister, the position that was vacated after Julie Bishop resigned. Bishop had advised Morrison that Payne was the best person for the role in part from her three years experience as defence minister.

Peter Dutton has been returned to his role as home affairs minister, however his responsibilities in immigration and citizenship have been assigned to David Coleman.

Those who have kept their positions include Senator Mathias Cormann as finance minister and government senate leader, and Greg Hunt who will continue to serve has health minister.

New Appointments

The new minister for energy is Angus Taylor. Taylor was previously the minister for law enforcement and cybersecurity.

Morrison has dubbed Taylor “the minister for getting electricity prices down.” Taylor has private sector expertise in energy policy and will be entrusted the role of ensuring reliable energy supply and affordable prices.

Emissions reduction will no longer be tied to the energy portfolio after being moved back to the environment portfolio.

The new minister for environment is Melissa Price, who held the position of assistant minister for the environment under the Turnbull government.

Alongside Taylor and Price, other new cabinet ministers include Karen Andrews and Paul Fletcher.

Andrews, whose previous role was as an assistant minister, will serve as minister of industry, science and technology, which means science has been returned to the Cabinet. The position was previously omitted under the Turnbull government. Andrews as an engineer and had specialised in industrial relations prior to entering Parliament in 2010.

Fletcher is the new minister for families and social services.

Other Positions

The other Cabinet appointments announced by Morrison include:

Upcoming Challenges

The change in leadership for Australia comes less than a year ahead of an election due in May 2019. The new leadership under Morrison will now face the task of uniting the party and winning the approval of the Australian public.

Morrison said some of his key early priorities would be in the areas of energy, health, and ensuring a supportive business environment.

Prior to the leadership spill, the outgoing Turnbull government struggled in passing key policies relating to energy and company tax, resulting in decisions to backtrack on critical components within both policies. Morrison and Frydenberg had been heavily involved in developing the two policies that are likely to influence the results of the next election.

Janita Kan contributed to this report

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