Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a cabinet reshuffle after two senior ministers recently resigned following separate controversies. During a press conference, Morrison said that David Littleproud, Australia’s Minister for Water Resources, will take the additional responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The issue of natural disasters is one that encompasses all portfolios of government and obviously as Minister for Emergency Management that will have particular responsibilities for him,” said Morrison while announcing the reshuffle.
Littleproud’s appointment as Minister of Agriculture came after Bridget McKenzie was forced to resign from the cabinet post due to allegations of misusing sports development fund for targeting votes ahead of last year’s general election. Morrison thanked McKenzie for the “great work” she did for rural and regional Australians and drought management in particular.
Another important appointment was of Keith Pitt, a supporter of nuclear power and Australia’s coal industry, who has been given the portfolio of Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Matt Canavan had resigned from the cabinet position earlier this week and backed Barnaby Joyce for the leadership of the Nationals.
“Keith Pitt will take on the role and enter Cabinet...highlighting again the importance of all of those portfolio matters and their presence around the Cabinet table,” said Morrison.
The Australian PM also thanked Canavan for the work he did in the resources portfolio and the northern Australian portfolio. “I appreciate the way he engaged on those issues so passionately for that time of service,” he added.
Darren Chester also entered the cabinet but will continue to work as Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel. According to Morrison, this is the first time Veteran Affairs has been back in Cabinet since the late Ben Humphreys in 1993. He was of the opinion that it will send a strong message about commitment to veterans in this government.
“Andrew Gee will come into the Ministry as Minister for Regional Education, Decentralisation and Minister assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment,” announced Morrison.