Michaelia Cash will lead the government’s new innovation and jobs portfolio as part of Malcolm Turnbull’s Christmas cabinet reshuffle.
The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday afternoon that Senator Cash would take on the role of Minister for Jobs and Innovation, to be assisted by Craig Laundy, who has been promoted to Minister for Small and Family Business, while Zed Seselja, who is the new assistant minister for science, jobs and innovation.
Senator Cash has been the employment minister since September 2015, and will be taking on the new portfolio in addition to her current duties.
“Senator Michaelia Cash will become the minister for jobs and innovation, charged with harnessing all of the policies of government to create more jobs and job opportunities for Australians,” Mr Turnbull said.
“She will be a key part of our economic team working to deliver on our commitment of more jobs, more investment, stronger economic growth. That’s our priority for 2018,” he said/
Angus Taylor has been moved on from his digital transformation role and has been appointed as the new Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity, working in the newly-created Home Affairs super-portfolio.
Former Justice minister Michael Keenan will be taking over the digital transformation role.
Senator Cash has taken over the renamed Industry portfolio from Arthur Sinodinos, who had served as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science since the start of the year.
Senator Sinodinos has been on sick leave from the Parliament since September. He wrote to the Prime Minister in recent days asking to be removed from Cabinet while he continues to battle cancer.
Mr Turnbull flagged Senator Sinodinos’ return to the ministry upon his return to Parliament, potentially by mid-next year.
“He has written to me this week to say that the medical treatment is taking longer than anticipated and he is unlikely to be able to return from leave until the middle of next year.He asked that he not be included in the new ministry,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to Arthur regaining full health and returning to a senior ministerial or other government role in the future.”
Senator Cash has been serving as assistant innovation minister in his absence, and is now the fourth minister in the portfolio since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister two years ago (and the fifth if you include Ian Macfarlane, who served as Industry minister in the Abbott ministry.)
Christopher Pyne was appointed Industry minister as part of Mr Turnbull’s first Cabinet at the end of 2015. He was quickly replaced by Greg Hunt, with Senator Sinodinos taking over the role last January.
During her time as acting Innovation minister, she oversaw the announcement of Australia’s national space agency, with further details expected to be revealed early next year.
She has recently been under fire over her conduct over a recent police raid on the Australian Workers’ Union. The Senator repeatedly told a senate estimates committee that her office had not tipped off the media about the raid, but was later forced to withdraw her comments and admit that one of her staffers had tipped off the press.
Senator Cash resisted the opposition’s calls for her to resign over the incident, which is currently being investigated by the police.
Craig Laundy, who served as an Assistant Minister in the industry portfolio under Senator Sinodinos, will take on the newly-created role of Minister for Small and Family Business, due to his “understanding of enterprise and entrepreneurship that few can equal”, the Prime Minister said.
As part of the Cabinet reshuffle, the former Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Cyber security Dan Tehan is the new Minister for Social Services, taking over form Christian Porter, who has been appointed as Attorney-General.
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