The most consequential for the ICT sector is the increase in responsibility for WA’s Ben Morton, a close personal confident of the PM (ranked #6 on the AFR list of ‘covert power’ rankings), who becomes Special Minister of State (SMOS), and also takes over from Morrison as the Minister for the Public Service
Morton will continue to serve as Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, a role he has held since May 2019, playing a significant role in both regtech reform and in coordinating the COVID 19 response across government.
Morton replaces Finance Minister Simon Birmingham as SMOS, with responsibility for a range of parliamentary, integrity, electoral, financial, public service, and oversight matters – including the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
The re-shuffle was prompted by the resignation of Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter, two weeks earlier.
Porter’s responsibilities have been split in two.
Minister for Defence Industries, Karen Andrews, will be taking on the additional portfolio of Minister for Science and Technology.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, picks up the Industry side of Porter’s old portfolio.
Tim Wilson has been promoted into the Ministry for the first time, and will serve as a junior minister to Taylor in the industry portfolio.
The Prime Minister also announced that a clean energy summit will be held in the first three months of 2022.