Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash has been appointed Minister for the newly-created Jobs and Innovation portfolio.
The latest Cabinet reshuffle has seen the two previously separate portfolios of Employment (formerly held by Cash), and Industry, Innovation and Science (held by Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos) combine to form the new joint super-portfolio.
Sinodinos, who is currently on indefinite personal leave from Parliament, said the Innovation portfolio had made important strides this year.
“I congratulate Michaelia Cash on becoming the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, and thank her for her stewardship of the Industry portfolio while I have been away,” he said.
A host of new ministers have also been appointed to the other ICT-focused portfolios, including Senator the Hon Zed Seselja as Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation; and The Hon Craig Landry MP as Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplace and Deregulation.
Cash said she looks forward to continuing to deliver policies that will drive jobs and growth for the future success of all Australians.
“Jobs growth is now running at twice the rate of population growth.
“More than a thousand jobs have been created every day this year, and more than 360,000 jobs so far in 2017 – the strongest year-to-date result in job creation in 40 years.
“My new role will provide for an even greater focus on fostering innovative new ideas and industries, which will further strengthen our economy and create the jobs of the future,” she said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Cash, Landry and Seslja will be working closely to ensure the Government is giving companies the confidence they need to invest and create jobs, and to give Australians the confidence to get the skills and opportunities they need to find a job or land a better paying job.
“Michaelia Cash, Craig Laundy and Zed Seselja will work together to make sure we harness the jobs of the future through new industries and small business, so Australians can adapt and thrive in this era of innovation and technological change,” he said.
Also joining the Cabinet will be The Hon Michael Kennan MP, as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation. Senator the Hon Marise Payne will be continuing her role as Minister for Defence.
Turnbull said he was pleased to welcome five new members to the Cabinet.
One of the more surprising outcomes of the reshuffle is the appointment of the Hon Angus Taylor MP as Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity, taking the coveted role from The Hon Dan Tehan MP. Tehan, who previously held the role of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security. Tehan has been appointed as Minister of Social Services.
Turnbull said the the new ministry reflects the priorities of his Government: growing the economy, creating jobs and keeping Australians safe.
“I am determined to ensure that as we keep Australians safe, as we maintain our commitment to national security, we also secure their prosperity. That depends on investment, business confidence, and employment,” he said.
Despite Cash’s appointment to this key role, the reshuffle still shows a significant lack of women in ministerial positions. There are just five women holding eight of the 27 cabinet positions – and one less woman in Cabinet from the beginning of the year.
However, Cash, who presented at ACS’ inaugural Diversity Summit, said the percentage of women holding Government board positions has risen by 2.2% over the last twelve months to 42.7%, according to the Gender Balance on Australian Government Boards Report 2016-17.
“Not only have we increased women’s participation on boards, we have also worked to ensure more women are represented on boards in traditionally male dominated sectors,” she said.