Greg Hunt
Australian Minister of Environment Greg Hunt signs the Paris Agreement on climate change held at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 22, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Greg Hunt has been appointed as Malcolm Turnbull’s new health minister, the prime minister announced. The news comes after Sussan Ley resigned last week over her ongoing expenses scandal.

Hunt previously served as minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. As part of the reshuffle, Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos will take Hunt’s role. Meanwhile, assistant Health minister Ken Wyatt will take on the role of the aged care and indigenous health portfolios. Victorian Liberal Michael Sukkar, on the other hand, will serve as assistant minister to the treasurer. David Gillespie will continue his tenure in portfolio as assistant minister for Rural Health.

Conservative Liberal Michael Sukkar will take on the role of assistant minister to Treasurer Scott Morrison. As reported by Fairfax Media, the Victorian MP will be responsible for housing affordability, the "effects test" under consumer law and certain types of foreign investment. The newly appointed ministers are scheduled to be sworn in by the Governor-General next Tuesday.

As reported by AAP (via The Australian), Turnbull lauded Hunt for his “strong policy, analytical and communication skills, developed over a very long front bench career.” The prime minister added, “During [Hunt’s] time as the environment minister, he demonstrated an ability to grapple with extremely complex policy issues and engage a very diverse range of stakeholders and interest groups, including state and territory governments.”

“[Hunt] is ideally suited to take on the very important, critically important front line portfolio of health and sport,” Turnbull said. He added, “That being done, [Hunt] can now turn his talents to a front line portfolio, and the cabinet secretary function can return to the prime minister’s office as has been the practice of Coalition governments in the past.”

Since he was elected in 2001, Hunt has held several roles, including environment minister, acting cities minister, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister and parliamentary secretary to the environment minister. He has also been the recipient of the Best Minister in the World award, bestowed on him at last year’s World Government Summit.

Following his appointment as Health minister, Hunt said he was "deeply honoured" to take on the responsibility. "I want to be a strong advocate for greater understanding and community awareness, and to ensure we have the necessary resources to help deal with this very important issue," he said.