Scott Morrison's "New Generation" Ministry Isn't Really New
And still lacking in women.
New Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants you to know that he thinks his new ministry team is a fresh group of leaders. But it's not exactly all that new.
"Today I am announcing a new generation Liberal National Coalition team to lead my Government forward," he said on Sunday.
On Tuesday he repeated the same phrasing on Twitter, and elsewhere has called his squad a "new team" and "next generation". But even a quick look at the list shows the team isn't really all that new at all, and the government is still severely lacking in women in key positions.
Morrison ascended to the nation's top job last week, and has the frankly unenviable job of whipping a divided and shambolic Liberal Party into shape before the next election. His first priority has been to put the recent weeks of leadership speculation to the side and try to present a new, united front in hopes of smoothing over the conflict that has marred federal politics.
To that end, he has the tricky job of showing the public that the Malcolm Turnbull era is over and the Morrison era is now here, while at the same time not getting too many of the senior Liberals offside. It's probably why he leaned on the "continuity and change" trope last week, made famous by Turnbull... and political comedy Veep. He wants to show he's making changes, but not too many changes.
But while Morrison has been claiming he has a new and fresh team in place, a quick look at the latest ministry list shows not much has changed.
Morrison, the former treasurer, is of course in there. Other familiar faces include Josh Frydenberg (former environment minister, now into treasury), Christopher Pyne (defence industry into defence), Steve Ciobo (tourism and trade into defence industry), Marise Payne (defence into foreign affairs) and Simon Birmingham (education into tourism and trade).
Then there's Dan Tehan (social services into education), Paul Fletcher (cities and urban infrastructure into social services), Angus Taylor (law enforcement into energy), Michaelia Cash (jobs and education into small business), Kelly O'Dwyer (financial services into jobs and industry) and Melissa Price (assistant environment minister into environment minister).
We've also got Alan Tudge, David Coleman, Zed Seselja, Alex Hawke, Anne Ruston, Mark Coulton, Karen Andrews and Michael Keenan, old faces from the Turnbull ministry staying on under PM Morrison.
Nigel Scullion, Michael McCormack, Mathias Cormann, Christian Porter, Peter Dutton, Mitch Fifield, Matt Canavan, Greg Hunt, Ken Wyatt, David Littleproud and Darren Chester have even stayed in the same portfolios they were in before the leadership spill.
There are a few new faces, in assistant treasurer Stuart Robert, Andrew Broad as assistant minister to the deputy PM, David Fawcett, Linda Reynolds, Sarah Henderson, Michelle Landry, Scott Buchholz and Steve Irons.
Sussan Ley (one-time health minister) is also coming back into the ministry after a stint on the backbench, as is former tourism minister Richard Colbeck.
In fact, according to our calculations, 36 of the 46 ministry positions are filled by ministers in Turnbull's most recent ministry -- 38, if you count former ministers Ley and Colbeck.
But a deeper look at the gender split on the ministry list shows the government hasn't yet gone far enough to address criticisms the Liberal Party isn't doing enough to promote a diverse group of talent.
Of 46 ministry positions, 35 are filled by men and only 11 by women. On the 23-person cabinet list, there are 17 men and just six women. That's 24 percent and 26 percent respectively.