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Greg Hunt New Health Minister; Ken Wyatt First Indigenous Minister; Turnbull Minimises Changes Following Ley’s Resignation

Greg Hunt will become the new Health minister and Arthur Sinodinos takes over Industry, Innovation and Science, in ministerial changes announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull

Turnbull has reduced the Cabinet in size from 23 members to 22. Senator Sinodinos’ previous role as Cabinet Secretary has reverted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Ken Wyatt, the Liberal member for Hasluck since 2010, becomes Australia’s first indigenous minister at the federal level, taking over Aged Care and Indigenous Health.

Michael Sukkar, the Liberal member for Deakin since 2013, becomes a parliamentary secretary and takes on the role of Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

The changes were caused by the resignation last week of Sussan Ley.

The full ministry is listed below.

Media statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Ministerial Arrangements

Today I am announcing changes to the Ministry that I will be recommending to His Excellency the Governor General.

I am pleased to announce that Greg Hunt will become the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. [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…]


Shorten ALP Shadow Ministry – Statistical Analysis (Revised)

This page provides statistical data on the 2016 Shorten shadow ministry.

It updates the data from a previous post, following the resignation of Senator Sam Dastyari. Tim Hammond has entered the Shadow Outer Ministry and Senator Deborah O’Neill has been appointed a Shadow Assistant Minister (Parliamentary Secretary).

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

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, portfolio, faction and when they were first elected to parliament. A handful of members have also served in state parliaments and this is shown in the table.

I have shown only the main Left and Right factional affiliations, disregarding the mainly state-based sub-groupings.

The second table lists members of the three groups in order of age. [Read more…]


Shorten Announces Minor Changes To Shadow Ministry; O’Neill Promoted

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced changes to the ALP shadow ministry, following the resignation of Senator Sam Dastyari.

HammondThe new member for Perth, Tim Hammond (pictured), has become Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and enters the Shadow Outer Ministry in place of Dastyari. Hammond will continue as the Shadow Minister Assisting for Resources but his Digital Economy and Startups position has been abolished.

O'NeillNSW Right Senator Deborah O’Neill (pictured) will become a shadow parliamentary secretary, as Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Shadow Assistant Minister for Innovation.

Senator Katy Gallagher becomes Manager of Opposition in the Senate, a role also previously held by Dastyari. She retains her position as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive. [Read more…]


Dastyari Resigns From ALP Frontbench

Senator Sam Dastyari has resigned from the ALP frontbench.

Dastyari

  • Listen to Dastyari’s resignation statement (3m):

The resignation comes a day after an embarrassing press conference over Dastyari’s solicitation of a payment of an electorate office bill from Top Education Institute, a Chinese-connected company and ALP donor.

Dastyari was Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. [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…]