Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his new ministry which includes a new combined energy and environment portfolio, and newly appointed ministers for resources and Northern Australia, Industry, Innovation and Science, and Urban Infrastructure.
A number of ministers have been re-appointed and retain their previous portfolios including Barnaby Joyce as Minister for Agriculture and Water.
Mr Turnbull has clarified the Major Projects, Territories and Local Government portfolio and has decided it will now become the Urban Infrastructure portfolio.
Paul Fletcher will continue his role as Minister for this portfolio with one of his key priorities being the Western Sydney Airport project.
Mr Turnbull said the Urban Infrastructure portfolio will focus on the delivery of major projects and plans to see visible progress made by 2019.
Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia Ken Morrison said, “We welcome Minister Paul Fletcher’s new focus on urban infrastructure which fits well alongside the Prime Minister’s cities agenda led by Assistant Minister, Angus Taylor.
“The bulk of Australia’s population growth will occur in our national cities and this is a key challenge for our national government.”
Mr Turnbull has also appointed Former Minister for Environment Greg Hunt as the new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and New South Wales Federal Member for Reid, Craig Laundy, as the Assistant Minister.
CEO of StartupAUS Alex McCauley said he welcomed the appointments and was confident Mr Hunt would deliver strong results.
“He has worked across portfolios and in the private sector, and his appointment to this role is a clear and welcome sign that innovation policy remains right at the top of the Turnbull Government’s economic agenda,” Mr McCauley said.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Hunt “has a keen understanding of innovation, he has a keen understanding of science and technology and he will give new leadership to that important portfolio and those important agendas so central to our economic plan.”
The previously separate Environment and Energy portfolios have been combined to cover key energy policy areas including energy security and domestic energy markets, renewable energy targets, clean energy development and financing, and emission reduction mechanisms.
Former Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Josh Frydenberg has been appointed the minister for the new Environment and Energy portfolio.
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) has welcomed this portfolio change and congratulated Mr Frydenberg on his new role.
APGA Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said, “This is a welcome move and we are also pleased that Minister Josh Frydenberg will take on this responsibility as it provides continuity for the energy – and gas – sector.
“We are sure he will find that this is an appropriate change. Energy belongs in the Environment portfolio.
“The positive story about natural gas often gets lost in the resources debate, whereas in Environment discussions it is absolutely clear that gas will be part of our future for many decades to come.”
Senator Matt Canavan has now taken over Mr Frydenberg’s previous Resources and Northern Australia portfolio.
Queensland’s Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig said the appointment will ensure the Livingstone region will have the strong voice that it needs and deserves in the new Federal Cabinet.
“With our natural resources and the region’s potential to play a key role in the future development of Northern Australia, having a strong voice directly in Cabinet will help ensure we are able to realise our full potential to play that pivotal role,” Mr Ludwig said.