The new Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott (front row 4th L) pose with the Governor-General Quentin Bryce (front row 5th L) and his new ministry after their official swearing in at the Government House in Canberra September 18, 2013. Abbott unveiled his first cabinet on Monday, appointing experienced lawmakers and promising a return to stable government after three years of often tumultuous minority centre-left rule. REUTERS/Andrew Taylor (AUSTRALIA - Tags: POLITICS)
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is no longer the only female in the cabinet of Prime Minister Tony Abbott after he appointed on Sunday Sussan Lay as health minister in his first cabinet reshuffle after more than one year in power.
The PM surprised his cabinet by making more changes than expected by promoting Peter Dutton to immigration from health and shifting Scott Morrison to social services from immigration.
David Johnston was replaced as defence minister and the post went to Kevin Andrews who used to hold the social services portfolio. But the PM clarified that Johnston's departure from his job meant he did poorly, while he lauded Morrison for stopping the asylum boats.
Morrison said his core goal in his new job would be to get as many Aussies off welfare and create employment opportunities for them.
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Mr Abbott told media in Canberra that the changes seek to place the Australian economy and budget in front and centre of 2015 and the emphasis it would place on generating employment and taking care of families.
The reshuffle was triggered by the resignation of Arthur Sinodinos as assistant treasurer, which was filled in by Josh Frydenberg.
The PM also renamed the Education Ministry as Education and Training Ministry still headed by Christopher Pyne, with ex-Parliamentary Secretary Simon Birmingham as assistant minister.
He likewise renamed the Industry Ministry, headed by Ian Macfarlane, as Industry and Science Ministry.
Named as parliamentary secretary to the treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer, while Mr Abbott replaced Brett Mason as parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs with Steve Ciobo.
However, acting Opposition leader Penny Wong belittled the reshuffle, saying it won't fix the real problem of the Abbott government which is its unpopular budget. She said the changes are actually a vote of confidence in Mr Abbott's cabinet and the extensive reshuffle is an indicator of a cabinet not performing well.
"You might change the tyres on the bus but the wheels are still spinning," Wong said.