The Cabinet announced today by Australian Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott says some revealing things about the priorities of the new Liberal/National Coalition government.
There will be no minister for climate change, science, energy, resources, banking, housing, tourism, youth, aged care, disability care, multiculturalism, or workplace relations. (Climate change will be included in Environment, while energy, resources, and science will be included in Industry.) Abbott defends this by saying “I am trying to avoid a situation where unless something is specifically mentioned in someone’s title it is unimportant. There are some things that are so important that in a sense every minister should be concerned about them.”
Julie Bishop will be the only woman in the 19-member Cabinet, indicating immense gender inequality within the party.
The Cabinet will consist of:
- Tony Abbott, Prime Minister.
- Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.
- Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister.
- Eric Abetz, Employment Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service.
- George Brandis, Attorney-General and Arts Minister.
- Joe Hockey, Treasurer.
- Barnaby Joyce, Agriculture Minister.
- Christopher Pyne, Education Minister.
- Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
- Ian Macfarlane, Industry Minister.
- Kevin Andrews, Minister for Social Services.
- Malcolm Turnbull, Communications Minister.
- Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Sport.
- Bruce Billson, Minister for Small Business.
- Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment.
- David Johnston, Defence Minister.
- Greg Hunt, Environment Minister.
- Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
- Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance.
According to this classification by the blogger uknowispeaksense, at least 42% of the Cabinet outright deny the science of climate change, including Abbott, Truss, Bishop, Abetz, Joyce, Andrews, Robb, and Johnston. Almost all strongly oppose any carbon price, all oppose a fixed carbon price, and all support the indefinite continuation of fossil fuel mining, burning, and exports. This is the government elected by the world’s largest coal exporter at a time when drastic emissions cuts are urgently needed to prevent dangerous global warming.
The Outer Ministry will include:
- Michael Ronaldson, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of ANZAC, and Special Minister of State.
- Marise Payne, Minster for Human Services.
- Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice.
- Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Women.
In a press conference in response, Acting Labor leader Chris Bowen pointed out the Abbott government has already broken a number of its election promises before it has even been sworn in. For example, before the election Abbott promised to reveal the full state of the federal budget within 100 days, and after the election he has delayed the Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook to January.
Abbott and his Cabinet are expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.