Seven women will serve in the new look Morrison Cabinet with Marise Payne named the new Minister for Women, while retaining the foreign affairs portfolio, and Sussan Ley returning to the front bench.
Ley has been named the new Environment Minister, ending Melissa Price’s controversial short and largely absent time in the role. Price moves to the outer ministry, taking on the role of Defence Industry Minister.
Payne takes on the role of Minster for Women, replacing Kelly O’Dwyer , who made a shock decision to leave politics earlier this year. On her new appointment, Payne said she is looking forward to building on the work of her predecessor.
“Securing economic opportunities for women, focussing on their safety and achieving genuine gender equality are just some of the areas on which I will direct my attention,” she said.
“The intersection of my two portfolios also presents extraordinary opportunities to make gains for women and girls both at home and abroad.”
Linda Reynolds will be the new Defence Minister, while Bridget McKenzie, Deputy Leader of the Nationals, has been named Agriculture Minister. McKenzie is the the first female to ever take on the agriculture portfolio.
Michaelia Cash stays in Cabinet, now responsible for the employment portfolio as well as skills, small and family business.
Karen Andrews is the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.
Senator Anne Rushton will serve as Minister for Families and Social Services.
In the outer ministry, Nola Marino will be the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories,
Jane Hume will be the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology.
And Michelle Landry stays on as Assistant Minister for Children and Families.
Morrison said that Price’s shift to the outer ministry comes after she was asked “to be given a new challenge and I was happy to give her one”.
During Price’s time as Environment Ministry she was largely criticised for being absent and dodging the media.
Ley’s return to Cabinet comes after she was forced to stand down from the health portfolio due to revelations in 2017 that she had purchased an apartment while on a work trip.
The seven women given top jobs is a record for a Liberal Government.
Senator Hume told The Australian on her promotion, ““Make no mistake, I’m not here for my skirt, I’m here for my experience, and the contribution I can make to a sector that is critical to the Australian economy.”