Australia reorganises departments to reflect new government’s priorities

By on 06/06/2022 | Updated on 06/06/2022
A picture of the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment, which will be affected by machinery of government changes By Nick-D - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese has announced the creation of a new environment ‘super ministry’ as part of a raft of changes aimed at restructuring government to reflect its new priorities.

In an announcement of new ministers last week following Labour’s election victory, Albanese said a Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water would be created by merging two existing departments – the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Once the changes come into effect on 1 June, this new ‘super-ministry’ is expected to have two separate ministers for these posts, with Chris Bowen working as minister for climate change and energy, and Tanya Plibersek as minister for the environment and water.

The prime minister said that these changes would help “deliver the government’s job-creating climate change and energy agenda and give Australia’s environment the protection it deserves”.

Other changes announced by Albanese as he named the line up of ministers for this first government included the creation of a Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. The new department will spin off responsibilities currently held by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to better implement the government’s workplace relations, jobs, skills and training agenda.

The Department of Health will be renamed the Department of Health and Aged Care to better reflect the policy priority around care for older people, while the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications will be given responsibility for the arts.

Read more: New Australian Public Service head appointed

In other changes to areas of policy responsibility, the Department of Finance will take responsibility for data policy and the government’s Digital Transformation Agency, while the Department of Home Affairs will take responsibility for natural disaster response and mitigation, including the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

However, the home department will lose responsibility for criminal law enforcement and policy, including the Australian Federal Police, which is to be transferred to the office of the attorney general.

The changes come after Albanese named the new head of the Australian Public Service, professor Glyn Davis. Davis started work as the head the public service today.

The full list of ministers announced by Albanese are:

The Hon. Anthony Albanese MPPrime Minister
The Hon. Richard Marles MPDeputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
Senator the Hon. Penny WongMinister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon. Dr Jim Chalmers MPTreasurer
Senator the Hon. Katy GallagherMinister for Finance
Minister for the Public Service
Minister for Women
Senator the Hon. Don FarrellMinister for Trade and Tourism
Special Minister of State
The Hon. Tony Burke MPMinister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts
The Hon. Mark Butler MPMinister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. Chris Bowen MPMinister for Climate Change and Energy
The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MPMinister for the Environment and Water
The Hon. Catherine King MPMinister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
The Hon. Linda Burney MPMinister for Indigenous Australians
The Hon. Amanda Rishworth MPMinister for Social Services
The Hon. Bill Shorten MPMinister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
The Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC MPAttorney-General
Cabinet Secretary
The Hon. Brendan O’Connor MPMinister for Skills and Training
The Hon. Jason Clare MPMinister for Education
The Hon. Julie Collins MPMinister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness
Minister for Small Business
Michelle Rowland MPMinister for Communications
Madeleine King MPMinister for Resources
Minister for Northern Australia
Senator Murray WattMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Emergency Management
Ed Husic MPMinister for Industry and Science
Clare O’Neil MPMinister for Home Affairs
Minister for Cyber Security

Outer Ministry

Matt Keogh MPMinister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Pat Conroy MPMinister for Defence Industry
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Stephen Jones MPAssistant Treasurer
Minister for Financial Services
Andrew Giles MPMinister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Anne Aly MPMinister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth
Anika Wells MPMinister for Aged Care
Minister for Sport
Kristy McBain MPMinister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories

Assistant Ministers

The Hon. Justine Elliot MPAssistant Minister for Social Services
Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MPAssistant Minister for Defence
Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Assistant Minister for the Republic
The Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh MPAssistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
Patrick Gorman MPAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister
Senator Jenny McAllisterAssistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Senator Carol BrownAssistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Ged Kearney MPAssistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
Emma McBride MPAssistant Minister for Mental Health
Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health
Senator Malarndirri McCarthyAssistant Minister for Indigenous Australians
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health
Senator Tim AyresAssistant Minister for Trade
Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
Senator Anthony ChisholmAssistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Regional Development
Tim Watts MPAssistant Minister for Foreign Affairs

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About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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