Turnbull Ministry: Revised Statistical Analysis

This page provides statistical data on the revised Second Turnbull Ministry.

The 42-member executive includes 22 Cabinet ministers, 8 members of the Outer Ministry and 12 Assistant Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries.

Ministerial changes were announced on January 18, 2017, with the relevant swearings-in taking place on January 24. Following the resignation of Sussan Ley, Greg Hunt was moved into the Health portfolio, whilst Senator Arthur Sinodinos took over Hunt’s portfolio of Industry, Innovation and Science. The Cabinet Secretary’s position reverted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, with the Cabinet then reduced by one to 22 members.

Ken Wyatt was promoted to Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. He became the first indigenous minister in an Australian federal government.

Michael Sukkar, the Liberal member for Deakin since 2013, became Assistant Minister to the Treasurer and the youngest (35) member of the executive.

The first table shows the ministry by party, age, sex, state and parliamentary chamber.

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, date when first elected to parliament, and portfolio. The lists are ordered by age. [Read more…]


Sussan Ley Resigns From Ministry; Turnbull Announces Reforms To Politicians’ Entitlements

The Health Minister, Sussan Ley, has resigned from the Turnbull ministry.

Ley announced her resignation after a week of adverse political reaction to publicity about her travel expenses and visits to the Gold Coast. On one visit, Ley purchased an investment property.

Investigations by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Finance are still underway but it is reported that the prime minister believed Ley’s position had become untenable. He announced her resignation at a press conference called to announce reforms to MPs’ entitlements.

Ley released the text of her resignation letter to Turnbull (see below). She maintained that she had done nothing wrong and was not in breach of the ministerial code of conduct. She said she was resigning because the “ongoing media coverage of politicians’ entitlements has been a diversion from the important agenda we all wish to advance at the start of this vital year for our nation and our region”.

Turnbull announced that the government would establish an independent expenses authority to monitor and adjudicate all claims by politicians. He said the government would continue to implement all the recommendations of the Conde and Tune review of the parliamentary entitlements system.

Sussan Ley’s resignation letter.

Ley

Transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s press conference announcing reforms to MPs’ entitlements.

TURNBULL: Good afternoon.

Today I have received notice from the Honourable Sussan Ley, of her intention to resign as the Minister Health, Ageing and Sport. I want to thank her for her service to the Government as a Minister and as a member of the Executive over many years.

I will make a further announcement about ministerial arrangements next week. In the meantime, the Cabinet Secretary, Senator Sinodinos, will continue to act as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport. [Read more…]


Sussan Ley Stands Aside From Ministry; Investigation Into Gold Coast Travel Expenses

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has stood aside from the Turnbull ministry, pending an investigation into her travel expenses.

Ley

The Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will investigate her travel expenses in relation to visits to the Gold Coast over the past couple of years. During one visit, Ley purchased an investment property. The Health department will also conduct an investigation.

Ley will stand aside without ministerial pay, until the investigation is completed. Senator Arthur Sinodinos will act as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Minister for Sport.

At her press conference in Albury, Ley denied any wrongdoing.  In a statement issued yesterday, she apologised for an “error of judgement”.

Ley is the first ministerial casualty of the Turnbull government since last year’s election. After replacing Tony Abbott in September 2015, Turnbull lost three ministers in his first five months as prime minister.

Statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Travel claims by the Minister for Health

Today I have asked the Secretary of my Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet for advice in relation to the Statement of Ministerial Standards relating to travel claims made by the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, the Hon Sussan Ley MP. [Read more…]


How The Turnbull Government Lost Control Of The House

The absence of nine members of the Coalition caused the Turnbull government to lose control of the House of Representatives for nearly two hours last night.

House

When a procedural motion to adjourn the House was put at 5.00pm, the ALP surprisingly voted No and called for a division, which it won by 69 votes to 67. The ALP then took control of the proceedings of the House and initiated a debate on a Senate resolution calling for a royal commission into the banking system.

Over the next 45 minutes, the government lost two more divisions and did not regain control of the House until 6.50pm, after coalition MPs were brought back into the chamber.

It was the first time since 1962 that a majority government has lost votes in the House of Representatives. Like the Turnbull government, the then Menzies government also governed with a one-seat majority. [Read more…]


Administrative Arrangements For The Second Turnbull Government

This is the amended Administrative Arrangements, following the swearing-in of the Second Turnbull Government.

The Administrative Arrangements outline the responsibilities of government departments and ministers. They show which Acts of Parliament fall within the responsibility of the department and minister. The Order is signed by the Governor-General.

This order renames the Department of the Environment to the Department of the Environment and Energy. It lists the matters to be added to the Department’s responsibilities, including 8 Acts of Parliament. Most of these are taken from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. [Read more…]


The Ages Of The Turnbull Government Ministers

A passing comment on today’s Insiders program about Malcolm Turnbull being the only member of the Federal Cabinet over the age of 60 led to the tables on this page.

Turnbull Government – Ages of Ministers – Summary
Group 60-69 50-59 40-49 30-39 18-30 Total Average Age
CABINET
1
8
12
1
22
49.4
OUTER MINISTRY
3
4
1
8
47.3
ASSISTANT MINISTERS
2
4
4
1
1
12
48.4
TOTALS
3
15
20
3
1
42
48.7

Turnbull is the only member of the executive over 60 in what we traditionally called the ministry, but only if you don’t count the Parliamentary Secretaries, the people now called Assistant Ministers. Two of them – Ken Wyatt and Jane Prentice – are over 60.

Turnbull is the only member of Cabinet or the Outer Ministry over 60, but only since Andrew Robb and Warren Truss retired earlier this year. Ian Macfarlane was also over 60 but he left the government last year (with a little help from Turnbull).

Of the 22 members of Cabinet, 13 are under the age of 50. At 39, Kelly O’Dwyer is the youngest Cabinet minister, whilst Senator Matt Canavan, at 35, is the youngest member of the outer ministry. Two of the twelve Assistant Ministers are under 40, with Wyatt Roy the youngest member of the entire executive, at 25.

Two of Turnbull’s Cabinet ministers will soon turn 60. Senator Nigel Scullion gets there on May 4. Provided the government survives the expected double dissolution on July 2, Julie Bishop will still be a Cabinet minister when she turns 60 on July 17. Senator Arthur Sinodinos and Senator George Brandis will turn 60 in 2017.

The overall average age of Turnbull’s 42-member executive is 48.7. The average age of the 22 members of Cabinet is 49.4. The Outer Ministry of 8 averages 47.3, whilst the 12 Assistant Ministers average 48.4. Wyatt Roy pulls the average of the Assistant Ministers down a bit but it’s interesting that there aren’t more of them from the ranks of the 30-somethings, given that the position is seen as a training ground. [Read more…]


Senator Arthur Sinodinos Denies Wrongdoing Or Illegality

Senator Arthur Sinodinos has issued a statement denying that he has broken the law in relation to the NSW Electoral Commission’s decision to withhold public funding to the Liberal Party because of undisclosed donors.

Sinodinos is Cabinet Secretary in the Turnbull government and a key backer of the Prime Minister. He says the Electoral Commission did not accuse him of setting up a slush fund or breaking the law. “I have never been accused of corruption. I deny any wrongdoing or illegality.”

The statement from Sinodinos is shown below.

Statement from Senator Arthur Sinodinos (Liberal-NSW).

Statement – NSW Electoral Commission

SinodinosIt is for the NSW Division of the Liberal Party to deal with the NSW Electoral Commission’s decision to withhold funding.

Despite what Labor says, the NSW Electoral Commission decision does not accuse me of setting up a slush fund or breaking the law. I have never been accused of corruption. I deny any wrongdoing or illegality.

Regrettably, parts of the Electoral Commission’s Summary of Facts used loose language which could convey erroneous impressions. [Read more…]