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His Excellency the Governor-General has agreed to my announcing the following changes to the Ministry and the Administrative Arrangements Order.
The changes include two promotions to Cabinet, three new appointments to the outer Ministry and two new Parliamentary Secretaries.
Senator the Honourable Amanda Vanstone leaves the Ministry. I want to thank her for her extensive and very capable service in a number of portfolios since 1996. Amanda has made a wonderful contribution to the Government and Australia. She retains strong enthusiasm for public service.
The Honourable Gary Hardgrave MP will also leave the Ministry. I thank him for his work as Minister for Vocational and Technical Education particularly in relation to Australian Technical Colleges and previously as Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs. He will be contesting the next election in what will be a difficult fight and I am confident that he will retain the seat and continue with a successful parliamentary career.
Senator the Honourable Rod Kemp, Minister for the Arts and Sport and Senator the Honourable Sandy Macdonald, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, have both indicated a preparedness to step down as they are not proposing to contest the next election. I extend to both of them my thanks for their effective work on behalf of the Government. Rod Kemp has been a Minister in my government for more than ten years. He has been an effective and loyal member of the team.
Within the Cabinet, a number of changes will take place. The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP will be appointed to the position of Minister for The Environment and Water Resources. He will replace Senator the Honourable Ian Campbell who will assume the position of Minister for Human Services. In addition the Honourable Kevin Andrews MP becomes Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. Mr Andrews’ position as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations will be assumed by the Honourable Joe Hockey MP, the current Minister for Human Services.
Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Hockey have performed very strongly in their existing portfolios and both now take on important new responsibilities.
Changes will be made to the names of two departments. The existing Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs will become the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The existing Department of the Environment and Heritage will become the Department of The Environment and Water Resources.
In order to assist functional arrangements, the Department, and therefore the Minister, for Human Services, will be placed within the Cabinet grouping.
Within the outer Ministry the Honourable Andrew Robb MP will be appointed to the Ministry of Vocational and Further Education. The position of Minister for the Arts and Sport will be filled by Senator George Brandis SC of Queensland, a new appointment to the ministerial team.
The other change to the Ministry is the appointment of Senator Nigel Scullion, Senator for the Northern Territory, to the portfolio of Minister for Community Services, in place of the Honourable John Cobb MP.
New appointments to the position of Parliamentary Secretary are Mr Peter Lindsay MP who becomes Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and Mr Tony Smith MP who becomes Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.
In relation to the remaining parliamentary secretaries the following changes will occur. The Honourable Greg Hunt MP will become Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Honourable Teresa Gambaro MP will become Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
As is currently the position there will be twelve parliamentary secretaries within the new ministerial arrangements. One innovation is the designation of two of those twelve parliamentary secretaries as Assistant Ministers in recognition of particular responsibilities they will each have and their relative seniority.
The two appointments are that of the Honourable John Cobb MP, currently Minister for Community Services, to be appointed Parliamentary Secretary as Assistant Minister for The Environment and Water Resources. The Honourable Christopher Pyne MP, currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing will be designated an Assistant Minister.
The swearing in of new Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries will take place next Tuesday, the 30th January 2007.
23 January 2007