- Minster for Health and Minister for Sport – Greg Hunt
- Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science – Arthur Sinodinos
- Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health – Ken Wyatt
- Assistant Minister to the Treasurer: Michael Sukkar
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has done a mini-ministerial reshuffle – his fourth in 18 months – following the resignation of Sussan Ley on Friday last week over controversial travel expenses claims.
Mr Turnbull had three gaps to fill as Ms Ley was Minister for Health; Sport and Aged Care.
Greg Hunt, the former Environment Minister and most recently the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science takes on Ms Ley’s all-important Health portfolio and also gets the sought-after Sport Minister’s job.
Health is a critical Cabinet position. Mr Hunt will need to deal with calls to dismantle the Medicare rebate freeze that GPs are up in arms about and confront Labor’s Mediscare campaign, should it reassert itself.
Mr Turnbull noticeably avoided appointing Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos to the high profile Health job, probably in part because Mr Sinodinos’ reputation appears to have been somewhat tarnished by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) investigation into jailed Labor MP Eddie Obeid’s links to Australian Water Holdings (AWH), of which Mr Sinodinos was chairman.
While no corruption findings are due to be presented against Mr Sinodinos, questions are likely to keep being raised about his poor performance as an ICAC witness and his responsibilities as AWH chairman.
Mr Sinodinos, who was Acting Health Minister after Ms Ley resigned, will instead become the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, filling the vacancy left by Mr Hunt. The cabinet secretary function will now return to the Prime Minister’s office, reducing the size of Turnbull’s Cabinet by one to 22.
Liberal backbencher Michael Sukkar becomes assistant to Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Ms Ley’s departure also means there is now less women in the PM’s cabinet – nine out of 41 in the inner and outer ministry. Meanwhile, Western Australian MP Ken Wyatt has made history by becoming the country’s first indigenous federal minister as Minister for Aged Care and also Minister for Indigenous Health. He was previously Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.
The new ministers will be sworn in by the Governor-General Peter Cosgrove on Tuesday.
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