Michaelia Cash will be Australia’s new innovation minster thanks to a cabinet reshuffle yesterday, replacing Arthur Sinodinos who is leaving the portfolio due to health reasons.
Cash, who has previously held the employment portfolio, will take on a new “Jobs and Innovation” portfolio, with Zed Seselja appointed as the new Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation.
Also covering aspects of the previous employment portfolio will be new Small Business Minister Craig Laundy who has held the assistant innovation minister position since July last year.
In a statement, Cash said she was “honoured” to be appointed the new minister for innovation, saying the government’s policies have been underpinned by a commitment to “strengthen economic growth”.
“My new role will provide for an even greater focus on fostering innovative new ideas and industries which will further strengthen our economy and create the jobs of the future. Australia has never been short of great ideas and I am incredibly confident about the future of Australian industry,” Cash said in a statement.
“Together with the Prime Minister and the Government’s economic team I look forward to continuing to deliver policies that will drive jobs and growth for the future success of all Australians.”
The cabinet reshuffle also saw a number of other movements, including current Attorney-General George Brandis stepping down to take up the role of British High Commissioner, and immigration minister Peter Dutton handed the “super portfolio” of Home Affairs, reports Fairfax.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the reorganisation would bring “new skills and energy to the front bench”.
“That’s our priority for 2018; more investment, more jobs, better jobs, more money in the pockets of hardworking Australian families and businesses,” he said in a statement.
Outgoing innovation minister Sinodinos received a lukewarm reception at the time of his appointment earlier this year. At the time, members of the startup community called for more consistency in leadership, however, with Cash’s appointment less than 12 months later, this is unlikely to improve.
Cash is the fourth innovation minister appointed since the government introduced its Science and Innovation agenda at the end of 2016. Check out SmartCompany‘s one year on report card to see how the government fared in achieving its innovation promises in the first 12 months.