The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Brendan Nelson, has announced the coalition’s new shadow ministry.
Nelson has drawn on the experience of former Howard government ministers such as Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey, Nick Minchin, Malcolm Turnbull and Andrew Robb. He has elevated new faces such as Tony Smith, Greg Hunt, Bob Baldwin, Andrew Southcott, Margaret May, Sussan Ley and Pat Farmer.
Nelson said: “The new Coalition team strikes the right balance between fresh faces and experience.”
This is the text of a media release from the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Brendan Nelson.
I am pleased to announce today the new Coalition frontbench.
The new Coalition team strikes the right balance between fresh faces and experience. The Shadow Ministry has been chosen on the basis of both proven performance and new members with the potential to contribute to the Coalition over the longer term.
This team has the drive, skills, experience and commitment to offer a credible, viable and attractive alternative Government.
Julie Bishop will take on the important role of Shadow Minister for Employment, Business and Workplace Relations. As the Deputy Leader, Ms Bishop will hold the Government to account and work to ensure the significant employment gains of the past decade are not eroded.
Opposition Senate Leader Nick Minchin will assume responsibility as Shadow Minister for Defence. Senator Minchin is one of the Coalition’s most experienced and skilful operators. His talents are greatly valued by the Liberals and Nationals.
Along with his role as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Eric Abetz becomes Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
Malcolm Turnbull will serve as my key economic spokesman as Shadow Treasurer. Malcolm’s economic experience, drive and intellect will be highly valued on the Coalition frontbench.
The Nationals’ Leader Warren Truss will serve as Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Local Government. As our valued Coalition partner, I look forward to working closely with Mr Truss and his colleagues.
Senator Nigel Scullion will provide an alternative to the Government’s approach on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
John Cobb will serve as Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Water Security.
Andrew Robb takes on the important and challenging role of Shadow Foreign Minister. Mr Robb is a proven safe pair of hands. Andrew’s experience will be a great asset to the Coalition team I look forward to his valued contribution on the frontbench.
Joe Hockey will hold the Government to account on Health, while Peter Dutton becomes Shadow Finance Minister, Ian MacFarlane becomes Shadow Trade Minister and Tony Abbott takes on responsibility for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and the Voluntary Sector.
Senator Chris Ellison becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Helen Coonan takes on Human Services, Senator George Brandis becomes Shadow Attorney General, while Senator David Johnston brings his drive and talents to the position of Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy and Tourism.
Tony Smith, Bruce Billson and Greg Hunt also join the Shadow Cabinet. Mr Smith’s energy, skills and talent make him the ideal candidate to take on the Government in the important Education portfolio. I have also added the important areas of Apprenticeships and Training to Tony’s responsibilities.
Bruce Billson will enthusiastically develop the alternative Government’s plans for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Greg Hunt becomes Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Urban Water. Greg will work tirelessly in this critically important portfolio.
There are a number of new faces in the Outer Shadow Ministry.
Senator Michael Ronaldson brings his considerable experience and talents as Shadow Special Minister of State. I welcome Michael Keenan to the frontbench as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Steven Ciobo as Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy and Tourism.
Christopher Pyne becomes Shadow Minister for Justice and Border Protection, Sharman Stone takes on Environment, Heritage, the Arts and Indigenous Affairs and Bronwyn Bishop returns in the role of Shadow Veterans Affairs Minister.
The Nationals’ Luke Hartsuyker will take up the position of Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs.
Bob Baldwin, Andrew Southcott, Margaret May, Sussan Ley and Pat Farmer also join the Coalition frontbench.
The following Members and Senators will serve as Shadow Parliamentary Secretaries; Cory Bernardi, Richard Colbeck, Mark Coulton, John Forrest, Jo Gash, Barry Haase, Peter Lindsay, Ian Macdonald, Louise Markus, Brett Mason, Sophie Mirabella, Marise Payne and Don Randall.