Media Release

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP Press Release - A Team to Build a Stronger Australia

The incoming Coalition Government will restore strong, stable and accountable government to build a more prosperous Australia.

Click here to download a copy of the The Ministry.

This is the team that will scrap the carbon tax, end the waste, stop the boats, build the roads of the twenty first century and deliver the strong and dynamic economy that we need.

First term governments are best served by Cabinets with extensive ministerial experience. Fifteen members of the incoming Cabinet have previous ministerial experience. The four members of Cabinet without ministerial experience have made significant contributions to the Shadow Ministry.

The simplification of ministerial and departmental titles reflects my determination to run a “back to basics” government.

The Australian people expect a government that is upfront, speaks plainly and does the essentials well.

The Cabinet will be assisted by a strong team of ministers with proven capacity to implement the Government’s policies.

Parliamentary secretaries will assist senior ministers and be under their direction.

Good government requires a strong Coalition. As Deputy Prime Minister and as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP will be responsible for ensuring the Government delivers on its major infrastructure commitments across Australia. Mr Jamie Briggs MP will be the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development with specific responsibility for roads and delivery of our election commitments across metropolitan and regional Australia.

The Hon Julie Bishop MP will serve as Minister for Foreign Affairs and will be a strong voice for Australia during a time when Australia is a member of the United Nations Security Council. Australia in addition will assume the Chair of the G20 on 1 December for a year. Senator the Hon Brett Mason will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

With the unemployment rate at its highest level in four years and with Treasury forecasting that the number of unemployed will rise to around 800,000 by the middle of next year, helping Australian businesses generate more jobs underpins our agenda to build a stronger economy.

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz as Minister for Employment, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service and Leader of the Government in the Senate will be responsible for reducing impediments to employment growth. In keeping with our pre-election commitments, the Coalition Government will restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, return the industrial relations pendulum to the sensible centre and re-invigorate Work for the Dole. Mr Luke Hartsuyker MP will be Assistant Minister for Employment and Deputy Leader of the House.

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC will be Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Vice President of the Executive Council and will be responsible for establishing a bipartisan process that will lead to a referendum and recognition of indigenous Australians in the Constitution. Mr Michael Keenan MP will be Minister for Justice.

Strengthening the economy, lifting productivity and turning around Australia’s competitive decline will be at the heart of the new Government. By strengthening the economy we can create more jobs and better afford the services that we all want.

As Treasurer, the Hon Joe Hockey MP will lead the Government’s work to restore the Budget position and grow a stronger economy. Senator Mathias Cormann, as Minister for Finance, will be responsible for delivering better value for taxpayers. Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO will be Assistant Treasurer. His lifetime of experience in the public sector will provide further strength to our economic team. Mr Steven Ciobo MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Mr Michael McCormack MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance.

Mr Barnaby Joyce MP will be the Minister for Agriculture and will be working to fulfil Australia’s potential as the food-bowl of Asia. The agricultural opportunities for Northern Australia in particular are immense. Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture.

Labor’s decision to split education across multiple portfolios hindered the capacity of different parts of the system to work together to improve educational standards.

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP will be Minister for Education and Leader of the House and will work with the states and territories to deliver real improvements across all aspects of education. The Hon Sussan Ley MP as Assistant Minister for Education will continue her work with child care and early childhood education. Senator Scott Ryan will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education.

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP returns as Minister for Industry having held this role during the last two terms of the Howard Government. Mr Macfarlane’s experience and record of success will be invaluable as we seek to build more competitive industries across Australia. The new Industry portfolio will include responsibility for energy and resources. The Hon Bob Baldwin MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry.

I regret the absence of Sophie Mirabella who was a champion for Australian industry, particularly manufacturers.

The Hon Kevin Andrews MP will be Minister for Social Services and be responsible for the largest area of expenditure and payments in the Budget. The new department will also be responsible for settlement services, multicultural affairs and the administration of aged care. Senator Mitch Fifield will be Assistant Minister for Social Services responsible for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care. Senator Marise Payne will be Minister for Human Services. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services with special responsibility for multicultural affairs and settlement services.

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP as Minister for Communications will deliver a new business plan for the NBN so that we can deliver fast broadband sooner and at less cost. Mr Paul Fletcher MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.

The Hon Peter Dutton MP will be Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. Senator Fiona Nash will be Assistant Minister for Health. Responsibility for mental health will rest with Peter Dutton ensuring responsibility for this issue remains in Cabinet.

Small business employs almost one in two Australians and its stand-alone presence in Cabinet acknowledges its role in job creation. The Hon Bruce Billson MP is an evangelist for small business and will drive the Government’s small business agenda.

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, serving as Minister for Trade and Investment, will be Australia’s ambassador for jobs by expanding Australia’s participation in free trade agreements.

Senator the Hon David Johnston will be Minister for Defence and will drive the development of the Defence White Paper as well as overseeing the Coalition’s defence procurement programme. Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson will be the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC. The Centenary of ANZAC will be a significant marker in our country’s history. Mr Stuart Robert MP will be Assistant Minister for Defence with responsibility for personnel matters. Mr Darren Chester MP will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP as Minister for the Environment will have responsibility for the abolition of the carbon tax, implementation of the Coalition’s Direct Action plan, the establishment of the Green Army and the creation of a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals. Senator Simon Birmingham will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and have responsibility for water.

Mr Scott Morrison MP will be Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Senator Michaelia Cash will be Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. This is a strong team to stop the boats.

Recognising its key role in border protection, Customs will be in this portfolio.

Senator Cash will also be appointed as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

As promised, the administration of indigenous affairs will move into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion will be Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Recognising the value of deregulation to improving Australia’s productivity, responsibility for driving the Government’s deregulation agenda will shift to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Mr Josh Frydenberg MP and Mr Alan Tudge MP will be my Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP, with my support, is nominating for the role of Speaker.

The Hon Warren Entsch MP has agreed to chair a new Joint Parliamentary Committee on Northern Australia. Carefully developing our long-term plan for Northern Australia will be a priority of the new Coalition government.

The Hon Philip Ruddock MP has agreed to be Chief Government Whip. I can think of no better person in the House to guide the 30 or so new Coalition members in their duties. Ms Nola Marino MP and Mr Scott Buchholz MP have also agreed to be Whips. Mark Coulton is the Nationals’ Chief Whip.

The Senate Whips are elected by the Liberal and Nationals Senate Party Rooms. The current Senate Whips are Senator Helen Kroger (Chief Government Whip), Senator David Bushby (Deputy Government Whip), Senator Chris Back (Deputy Government Whip) and Senator John Williams (Nationals Whip).

This is an experienced and talented team. It will deliver results for the Australian people from day one.