Turnbull becomes Communications Minister, Macfarlane named as Industry Minister

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has announced the incoming Coalition government’s frontbench, with Malcolm Turnbull named Minister for Communications and Ian Macfarlane becoming Minister for Industry.


Announcing the ministry, Abbott highlighted the experience of the incoming cabinet.


“I think it’s important to have experience as you move from opposition to government,” Abbott says. “Our task is to purposefully, methodically and calmly implement the promises we made to the Australian people.”


Macfarlane was the Coalition’s spokesman on energy and resources in opposition. He entered Federal Parliament in 1998 as the member for Groom, which covers the Darling Downs region of south-east Queensland.


In Macfarlane’s first speech to Parliament he outlined his approach to the relationship between the government, business and innovation.


“Australia and its people have a very proud history of achievement and innovation, unreliant on long-term political involvement. Now as one of this nation’s leaders, I am committed to fostering the further realisation of this great heritage – of fostering a relationship between good government and good business to achieve great outcomes in an environment where governments govern and the business sector runs business,” he said.


He also outlined his belief in the fundamental independence between business and the government.


“In our modern and at times highly materialistic society, all too often people expect government to fix everything and, when we don’t, they complain bitterly about the failure of governments and politicians to deliver. This has bred the culture of complaint – an environment where people’s expectations that a government can solve all their problems all the time can never be met,” he said.


Macfarlane’s appointment comes after the former shadow minister for industry and innovation, Sophie Mirabella, asked to not be included in the front bench appointments as she battles to hold her seat of Indi against independent Cathy McGowan. McGowan is currently in the vote count.


Start-up community leaders have listed the fate of the NBN, the employee share schemes review, the crowd sourced equity review and greater investment in education and support organisations as issues they are most concerned about.


A spokesman for Turnbull, when asked by StartupSmart about policies for start-ups in the lead-up to the federal election, referred to earlier speeches by Turnbull.


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