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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…]


ALP Will Oppose Budget Measures On Pensions, Youth Support, Family Tax Benefits And GP Co-Payment

Following Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech tonight, the ALP has announced that it will oppose a series of Budget measures in the Parliament.

Statements from shadow ministers Jenny Macklin, Catherine King, Brendan O’Connor and Julie Collins say that the ALP will oppose:

  • Increasing the pension age to 70.
  • Changes to pension indexation arrangements.
  • Forcing young people under 30 to wait 6 months before receiving income support.
  • Moving people under 25 from Newstart to the lower-paying Youth Allowance.
  • Cutting families off Family Tax Benefit B when their youngest child turns 6.
  • The $7 co-payment for visits to a general practitioner.

The ALP and the Greens have a blocking majority in the Senate until June 30. Neither party will oppose the Appropriation Bills, but where separate legislation is required they will have the ability to block measures.

After July 1, the ALP, Greens and the Palmer United Party group will have the numbers to block legislation in the Senate. Alternatively, either the ALP or the Greens will be able to guarantee passage of government bills. If the ALP and Greens are opposed to legislation, the government will need the support of 6 of the 8 crossbenchers.

Statement from Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, and Disability Reform.

LABOR TO OPPOSE ABBOTT’S PENSION ATTACK

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s savage attack on Australia’s pension system and the millions of Australian pensioners who rely on it.

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s decision to increase the pension age to 70. [Read more…]


Gillard Reshuffles Ministry; Supporters Promoted; Four New Ministers

In the aftermath of last week’s ALP leadership spill, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced her reshuffled ministry.

The new line-up was necessitated by the sacking of Simon Crean and the resignations of Chris Bowen, Martin Ferguson and Senator Kim Carr, and parliamentary secretary Richard Marles.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Gillard announced that Gary Gray will become Minister for Resources and Energy, replacing Martin Ferguson. He will be joined in the Cabinet by Jason Clare.

Anthony Albanese, a prominent Rudd supporter, takes on Simon Crean’s former responsibility for regional development and local government, in addition to his existing role as infrastructure and transport minister. [Read more…]


Black Saturday Bushfires: Moving Speeches In Parliament For Victims

The House of Representatives was the scene today of a moving condolence motion for victims of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was not in attendance, having stayed in Melbourne, but his deputy, Julia Gillard, visibly affected, gave a magnificent speech to a silent chamber. She was followed by the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, who delivered an equally impressive and moving speech. [Read more…]


Labor’s Twelve Days Of Christmas

Labor MPs sang an alternative version of The Twelve Days of Christmas outside Parliament House this morning.

Peter Garrett, Alan Griffin, Catherine King, Julie Owens and Anna Burke secured a spot on tonight’s television with their new lyrics attacking the Howard government’s industrial relations policy.

  • Listen to the song:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my PM gave to me:

the end of certainty,
much longer hours,
jail if I protest,
less time for family,
lots of lost conditions,
many bosses sacking,
no more penalties,

no rights at all.

No redundancy,
lower pay,
cuts to overtime
and a chance to trade away leave.


A Statistical Analysis Of Question Time

The tabling of a government report into the supposed throwing overboard of children from the Tampa was the dominant issue in Question Time in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, tabled the report which argued that the government had been misled about the incidient which featured prominently in last year’s election campaign.

The first Questions Without Notice for the 40th Parliament followed the official opening of the Parliament the day before. [Read more…]