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Small business to cabinet: Abbott unveils new ministry

Myriam Robin /

In his first press conference since winning government last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott unveiled his new government ministry.

“This is one of the most experienced incoming ministries in our history,” Abbott said. “There is enormous stability in this team, but there have been some significant promotions.”

Small business minister has retained its cabinet-level role, but for the first time, is held by a mininster without numerous other ministerial portfolios. Bruce Billson, who has been shadow small business minister since 2009, will remain small business mininster.

Speaking to SmartCompany shortly after the election, Billson affirmed his intention to stay in the role for a number of years.

“I have a deep love for the small business community, and I’ve worked hard to develop that suite policies and I’m red-hot keen to see them through.”

In the past, Billson has been highly critical of the previous government’s revolving door of small business ministers. There have been six in the past six years.

“We see the post-mining boom economy as being more diverse and inclusive of our small business enterprises,” Billson added.

“We’re particularly looking forward to looking at family enterprises for future job growth. We want to support that enterprise.”

In perhaps the most controversial appointment, Abbott has not put a member of the Nationals into the Trade Minister position. Instead, he gave the role to Liberal Andrew Robb.

Eric Abetz has been kept in his role as Minister for Employment, while Joe Hockey has been retained as Treasurer.

In a significant promotion, Senator Mathias Cormann has been promoted to Minister for Finance.

Ian Macfarlane is Minister for Industry.

In a break from the previous government, there are no named ministers for science or innovation.

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Myriam Robin

Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.

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