Cabinet reshuffle: The winners and losers in Malcolm Turnbull's new line-up

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty Images.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a new 21st century federal ministry a week into his prime ministership.

The biggest casualties were former treasurer Joe Hockey, who will retire from parliament, and former small business minister Bruce Billson, while Scott Morrison and NSW senator Marise Payne emerged as the biggest winners in the reshuffle.


As minister for defence, Marise Payne becomes the first woman in the portfolio in Australian history.

South Australian senator Christopher Pyne moves from education to becomes industry, innovation and science minister.

Scott Morrison, regarded as one of the government’s best performers, having implemented the Abbott government’s “stop the boats” policies while immigration and border protection minister, before moving to social services last December has, as expected, been handed Joe Hockey’s old job as treasurer. Morrison, 47, has been touted as a future Liberal Party leader.

Marise Payne. Photo: Getty Images.

The number of women in Cabinet has increased to five with senator Michaelia Cash, entering as minister for employment and women (the latter a portfolio previously held by Tony Abbott while PM), as well taking over from Eric Abetz in overseeing the public service as minister assisting the PM.

Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer is now assistant treasurer and small business minister, regional NSW Liberal Sussan Ley retains the health and sport portfolios, alongside Nationals senator Fiona Nash who stays on as rural health minister.

Simon Birmingham was promoted from assistant minister to taking charge of education and training from Pyne.

NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos, who resigned as assistant treasurer in December last year, and backed Turnbull in the spill, returns as cabinet secretary.

Senator George Brandis has been stripped of the controversial arts portfolio, which is been given to Victorian senator Mitch Fifield, who also takes over from Turnbull as communications minister. Brandis remains attorney-general. Adding to the technology-based focus flagged by Turnbull, Fifield also received the newly created role of minister assisting the PM for digital government

Jamie Briggs joins cabinet, going from assistant minister for infrastructure to the new portfolio of minister for cities and the built environment, with the prime minister flagging increased involvement from the federal government in urban planning.

“Historically the federal government has had a limited engagement with cities,” Turnbull said.

“It is where the bulk of our economic growth can be found. We often overlook the fact that liveable cities, efficient productive cities, the environment of cities, are economic assets.”

Josh Frydenberg has taken over as resources, energy and Northern Australia minister.

Among those retaining their existing roles are Julie Bishop, Matthias Cormann, Andrew Robb, Greg Hunt and Peter Dutton.


Scott Morrison: Treasurer
Warren Truss: Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister
Julie Bishop: Foreign Affairs Minister
George Brandis: Attorney-General
Christopher Pyne: Industry, Innovation and Science Minister
Nigel Scullion: Indigenous Affairs Minister
Sussan Ley: Health and Sport Minister
Andrew Robb: Trade and Investment Minister
Josh Frydenberg: Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Minister
Michaelia Cash: Minister for Women, Minister for Employment, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Marise Payne: Defence Minister
Simon Birmingham: Education and Training Minister
Greg Hunt: Environment Minister
Peter Dutton: Immigration and Border Protection Minister
Mathias Cormann: Finance Minister
Alan Tudge: Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
Arthur Sinodinos: Cabinet Secretary
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells: Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs
Jamie Briggs: Cities and the Built Environment Minister
Kelly O’Dwyer: Small Business Minister and Assistant Treasurer
Mal Brough: Defence Materiel and Science Minister
Mitch Fifield: Communications Minister, Arts Minister, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government
Scott Ryan: Assistant Cabinet Secretary
Fiona Nash: Rural Health Minister
James McGrath: Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister


NSW Liberal MP Bob Baldwin was the first casualty after revealing on social media that he had been removed as parliamentary secretary to the environment minister with agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, taking over water policy responsibilities.

Former treasurer Joe Hockey also said he would not seek a place in the new ministry and offered his resignation after serving as a member for nearly 20 years. He is moving on from his parliamentary career for the sake of his family and will be taken over by Scott Morrison.

Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo: Getty Images

Kevin Andrews has also been dropped from the defence portfolio despite offering to stay on.

Since taking up the role some nine months ago, Andrews has been involved with the Defence White Paper as well as the $89 billion naval shipbuilding plan. Andrew says he has no intention of retiring from politics and will continue to represent the people in the electorate of Menzies.

Former small business minister, Bruce Billson, chose not to take up the offer to serve in a role outside of cabinet while former employment minister Eric Abetz and former industry minister Ian Macfarlane cleared the way for new faces.

“The challenge for any leader is ensuring there is a renewal and bringing up new talent and new faces into leadership — that invariably means capable people have to move on and step aside so others can stand through,” said Turnbull during his address.


Joe Hockey
Eric Abetz
Kevin Andrews
Bruce Billson
Ian McFarlane

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