Inside Scott Morrison's 'new look' ministry

Scott Morrison has announced his new Cabinet this afternoon, confirming two senators will take on roles as ambassadors, the dumping Melissa Price from her environment portfolio, and a first ever female Agriculture Minister.

It's a record number of women to be announced on the Coalition frontbench - seven.

Contrary to his previous statements, Mr Morrison has dumped the embattled MP Melissa Price from the environment portfolio but has given her the role of defence industry minister.

"She asked to be given a new challenge and I was happy to give her one," Mr Morrison said of the move.

A report in The Australian today suggested Ms Price would lose her job, after she dodging public events and the media during the election campaign. Ms Price became something of a laughing stock, with the Opposition comparing her incredibly low profile on the hustings to a game of Where's Wally.

Rural MP Sussan Ley will be the new Environment Minister.

It's a return to cabinet for Ms Ley who was in 2017 forced to stand down as health minister after revelations she purchased a Gold Coast apartment while on a work trip.

The new ministry will include the first female Agriculture Minister, a role that will be taken by Bridget McKenzie. The former minister, Nationals MP David Littleproud, has been given responsibility for water resources, natural disasters, and emergency management

Mr Morrison also announced he would recommend Senator Arthur Sinodinos to become the Ambassador to the United States when Joe Hockey's term is up.

Senator Mitch Fifield will be recommended as Australia's next Ambassador to the United Nations.

"I would have been very happy for Mitch to continue to serve in communications and the arts," Mr Morrison said.

Fellow WA politician Ken Wyatt will be the first Indigenous person to be the Indigenous Affairs Minister, replacing Northern Territory Senator Nigel Scullion following his retirement.

Melissa Price was something of a laughing stock during the campaign. Picture: AAP
Melissa Price was something of a laughing stock during the campaign. Picture: AAP

Victorian MP Michael Sukkar, who quit a previous role in August in a bid to get Peter Dutton into the top job, has been given the role of Assistant Treasurer and also Minister for Housing, who will be responsible for overseeing the government's first home deposit scheme and delivering affordable housing.

Two key supporters of Mr Morrison in his bid to replace Malcolm Turnbull in August have also been rewarded.

Stuart Robert was assistant treasurer but has been promoted to cabinet as Government Services Minister and will oversee the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Alex Hawke has also been promoted. He will be International Development Minister and assistant Defence Minister, in a bid to build stronger defence and economic ties with the Pacific.

Other changes include Alan Tudge becoming Population Minister, while Richard Colbeck will take Aged Care, Youth and Sport.

 

Scott Morrison will announce his post-election Ministry this afternoon.
Scott Morrison will announce his post-election Ministry this afternoon.

Meanwhile Josh Frydenberg will continue as Treasurer, Mathias Cormann will retain Finance, Peter Dutton will stay on in Home Affairs, Greg Hunt will continue as Minister for Health and Angus Taylor will retain Energy.

Christian Porter will remain Attorney-General but will also take on the portfolio of industrial relations.

The Prime Minister had a few vacant spots to fill following the exits of Christopher Pyne, who was Defence Minister, and Kelly O'Dwyer, who held the Employment portfolio.

However, Mr Morrison made clear before the election that West Australian Senator Linda Reynolds would take on Defence, making her just the second woman to do so.

 

The Coalition won itself a third term in government.
The Coalition won itself a third term in government.

 

Senator Reynolds served in the Army Reserves for almost three decades and was the first female to hold a star rank, rising to brigadier in 2012.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne will remain and will add the role of Minister for Women to her responsibilities.

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will continue as Treasurer. Picture: Aaron Francis
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will continue as Treasurer. Picture: Aaron Francis

 

Mr Morrison is on a high after last weekend's unexpected victory, which saw the Coalition returned with a majority despite years of successive opinion polls pointing to a Labor victory.

Mathias Cormann will keep the Finance portfolio. Picture: AAP
Mathias Cormann will keep the Finance portfolio. Picture: AAP

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