ACT Liberals Senator Zed Seselja has been promoted to the ministry, succeeding Alex Hawke MP as Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this afternoon announced a cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Mathias Cormann, former Minister for Finance.
Senator Seselja was previously Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters. Mr Hawke will become the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.
Mr Morrison thought Zed Seselja’s “great experience in the parliament” as an assistant minister would bring added benefit to the Senate team. Those assistant portfolios include Social Services and Multicultural Affairs (2016–17); Science, Jobs, and Innovation (2017–18); and Treasury and Finance (2018–19).
As an ACT Senator, the Prime Minister continued, Mr Seselja was well situated to work with the embassies and missions of Australia’s development partners.
Mr Seselja will play a key role in rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to the Pacific, Timor and South-East Asia, Mr Morrison said. At the ASEAN and East Asian Summits, he continued, the Australian Government had increased its investment in the region, particularly in the Mekong Delta.
Fiji has just been ravaged by the category 5 cyclone Yasa, believed to be the worst storm in the island country’s history.
“The government’s demonstrated commitment to our Pacific family is very real,” Mr Morrison said.
“I was in contact yesterday morning with the Prime Minister [Frank] Bainimarama, assuring him of our steadfast support to be there for them in their time of need, which he greatly appreciated.”
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