Small Business Minister Stuart Robert appointed to influential budget review committee

Stuart-Robert

Minister Stuart Robert. Source: AAP/Mick Tsikas.

Small Business Minister Stuart Robert has become the newest member of the influential cabinet committee tasked with considering spending and revenue for the upcoming federal budget.

The Morrison cabinet reshuffle saw Stuart Robert take on the small and family business portfolios, as well as employment, workforce and skills, after Michaelia Cash moved into Christian Porter’s former roles of Attorney-General and minister for industrial relations.

Since then, further movement has taken place, with Robert now joining the expenditure review committee, a membership that former small business minister Michaelia Cash never held, The Australian reports.

The federal government directory has been updated with a list of the committee’s current members, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Trade Minister Dan Tehan and now Stuart Robert.

It is unclear exactly when Robert was officially made a member of the committee. The Minister’s office declined to comment when contacted by SmartCompany.

Robert’s involvement in the expenditure review committee is another sign of his close ties to the Prime Minister, and raises the question of how successful he will be in securing funding for matters that fall under his Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Portfolio.

The federal budget is expected to be delivered in Parliament by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on May 11. However, the exact date is yet to be confirmed given the last budget was handed down as late as October last year.

So far, the member for Fadden has indicated his ministerial priorities are to support the government in building the country’s economic recovery by creating more jobs.

“[My] priority will be to continue the comeback through building a workforce that can drive Australia’s prosperity,” he said in a statement.

His other priorities include improving workforce participation for women and building an effective care workforce for Australia’s aging population, for people with disability and for veterans.

In his first weeks as minister for small business, Robert met with Mary Aldred, chief executive of the Franchise Council of Australia, to discuss the $184 billion sector and how the Morrison government can drive policy to ensure the sector thrives.

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