Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
Scott Morrison has promoted two of his closest allies in a reshuffle that follows Christian Porter’s recent departure from the ministry.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke moves from the outer ministry into cabinet, while Ben Morton goes being an assistant minister into the outer ministry.
As expected, energy minister Angus Taylor retains the industry part of Porter’s old portfolio.
Taylor was installed as acting minister when Porter was forced to resign after he refused to disclose the names of donors who helped him finance his legal action against the ABC.Taylor becomes minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction.
However the science part of Porter’s former portfolio is being hived off and given to defence industry minister Melissa Price, who adds science and technology to her other responsibilities.
Morrison said he had asked Taylor “to focus on the critical supply chain initiatives from the recent Quad and the unique role Australia can play based on our national strengths in areas such as critical minerals”, working with resources minister Keith Pitt.
Hawke, who has been a Morrison’s numbers man and close associate for years, doesn’t change his responsibilities for immigration, citizenship, migration services and multicultural Affairs, but fills the cabinet spot that Porter had.
Morrison said that “pleasingly” his elevation brought the immigration portfolio back into cabinet.
“Minister Hawke did an absolutely extraordinary job most recently in the evacuation from Kabul,” Morrison told a news conference.
Morton, who has been assistant minister to Morrison, goes into the ministry as special minister of state, minister for the public service, and minister assisting the prime minister and cabinet. Morrison said this would take in and expand Morton’s current responsibilities.
A former Liberal party director in Western Australia, Morton is a close confidant of Morrison’s.
Tim Wilson, from Victoria, has been promoted from the backbench to assistant minister to the minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction.
Attacking the reshuffle, Anthony Albanese said Morrison had “used it as an opportunity to reward his mates”. He said Hawke was one of the few people in the Liberal party close to Morrison.
Albanese said the industry ministry was a full time job but Morrison had chosen to promote Taylor into that position “on top of his existing responsibilities […] which have proven too much for him.”
He said that on the same day Gladys Berejiklian resigned over an ICAC investigation, Taylor – who has been the subject of various controversies – had been promoted.
“This is yet another reminder of how so many people in Mr Morrison’s government are walking, talking reminders of the need for a national anti-corruption commission.”
Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
– ref. Promotions for Morrison allies in post-Porter ministerial reshuffle – https://theconversation.com/promotions-for-morrison-allies-in-post-porter-ministerial-reshuffle-169104