- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a new-look ministry one week after being re-elected by the Australian public.
- The Treasury portfolio includes a new assistant minister for superannuation, financial services and financial technology, with Jane Hume named in the role.
- NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos has been appointed Australian ambassador to the US, replacing former federal Treasurer Joe Hockey. Victorian senator Mitch Fifield has been named Australian ambassador to the UN.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison isn’t wasting any time preparing for majority government. Just one week after claiming an unexpected victory at the polls, the Liberal-National Coalition leader has announced what the next federal government will look like.
While most of the key posts in the previous Turnbull-Morrison government will remain unchanged, a number of changes have been announced both inside and outside the Cabinet — including a minister for fintech.
Former environment minister Melissa Price has been dumped, to be replaced by rural Liberal MP and former health minister Sussan Ley. Price faced a number of scandals during her time in the portfolio, overseeing the government’s response to the controversial Adani coal mine project and famously being accused of offending a foreign dignitary from Kiribati in a Canberra restaurant.
Stuart Robert, who had responsibility for the financial services portfolio during the banking royal commission as assistant treasurer, has been promoted to Cabinet as minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and minister for government services.
Also within the treasury portfolio, Melbourne MP Michael Sukkar has been promoted from assistant minister to the treasurer to assistant treasurer and Senator Jane Hume has taken on the role of assistant minister for superannuation, financial Services and financial technology.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to Business Insider Australia that Hume’s role is a newly-created one and she would work alongside the assistant treasurer.
The new role, which has specific responsibility for “financial technology,” comes just days after leaders in the Australian tech sector – including FinTech Australia general manager Rebecca Schot-Guppy – called for a greater focus on innovation and startup support from the Morrison government.
Hume is a member of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which handles a range of inquiries relevant to her new role including the ‘comprehensive credit reporting’ regime forcing the banks to share data, which the fintech industry has been lobbying for.
Western Australian MP Ken Wyatt has been named minister for Indigenous Australians. A statement from the Prime Minister described Wyatt as “Australia’s first Indigenous Cabinet minister”.
— Aleks Vickovich (@AleksVicko) May 26, 2019
Two prominent names that were previously part of the senior government ranks are missing: NSW senator and former chief of staff to John Howard, Arthur Sinodinos, and former communications minister Mitch Fifield.
They have been appointed to the plum posts of Australian ambassador to the US and Australian ambassador to the United Nations respectively. Australia’s current representative in Washington, Joe Hockey, will be returning to Australia.
“[Both Sinodinos and Fifield] would be exceptional representatives of Australia and our country’s interests abroad,” Morrison said in a statement.
“Both Senators have made enormous contributions in their public service and were given the opportunity to continue their service in the Ministry and Cabinet.”
London-based Sydney Morning Herald journalist Latika Bourke described the appointment as “jobs for the boys” on Twitter:
JOBS FOR THE BOYS. Former Cabinet Ministers (and Senators) Arthur Sinodinos and Mitch Fifield appointed Ambassadors to US and UN respectively. (Allows for 2 x Captain's Picks into the Senate) #CabinetReshuffle
— Latika M Bourke (@latikambourke) May 26, 2019
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