7 March 2024

Dutton announces ‘excellent additions to the Coalition’s stable’ in mini shadow cabinet reshuffle

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Peter Dutton

Mr Dutton says the new appointments are “excellent additions” to the opposition cabinet. Photo: Peter Dutton Facebook.

Fresh off a loss but on a reduced margin in last weekend’s Dunkley by-election in Victoria, Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has added some fresh faces while announcing a mini shadow cabinet reshuffle.

In announcing the changes, he said the Coalition would deliver positive plans and policies for the future of the country in the lead-up to the next election.

“The appointments I make today strengthen our team as we approach that critical task ahead,” he said.

Melissa McIntosh will be promoted to the shadow ministry as the new Shadow Minister for Energy Affordability and Shadow Minister for Western Sydney.

“Melissa understands the trainwreck of energy policy under Chris Bowen and Anthony Albanese, and she will work closely with Ted O’Brien MP in formulating policies that take the economic pressure of rising electricity prices off families – exactly the opposite of what the government’s ‘renewables-only’ policy approach is doing,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Coalition has Western Sydney’s back, in a way that the government does not, and Melissa’s insights into understanding this region will be important to formulating economic and social policies that make a difference for this community.”

READ ALSO Albanese and Dutton at odds over effectiveness of Operation Sovereign Borders

Mr Dutton also announced that Luke Howarth will become the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services.

“Luke understands that small business is the backbone of the Australian economy,” he said.

“He has previously run a family business before entering parliament and has a strong understanding of the financial pressures many Australians are currently experiencing under the government’s cost-of-living crisis. Luke will bring his strong command of retail economics to this important role.”

The current Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Senator James Paterson will add the important role of Shadow Cabinet Secretary to his resume.

“This is a critical role, and James will bring to it his shrewd political acumen and perceptive policy mind towards shaping the forward policy agenda for the Coalition as we head to the next election,” Mr Dutton said.

“This new role for James is in addition to his existing portfolio responsibilities in the shadow home affairs portfolio, where he continues to hold a hapless minister and government to account for their demonstrable failures in national security and community safety.”

READ ALSO Labor increases vote but now holds Dunkley by a slimmer margin

Shadow Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie will also take on the responsibility as the Shadow Minister for Defence Industry and Defence Personnel.

“At a time when we face the most dangerous strategic environment in living memory, Andrew’s experience as a fighter for our nation – both on and off the battlefield – will be critical in holding the government and its mounting failures in defence and defence industry to account.”

The role Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Industry and Defence Personnel will be taken on by Phillip Thompson who will retain his existing portfolio responsibilities as Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence.

“I am pleased that Andrew and Phil will lead our strong shadow ministerial team in the crucial Defence portfolios to hold the government to account and to get better outcomes for our men and women in uniform,” Mr Dutton said.

Other appointments see Senator Andrew Bragg given the role of Shadow Assistant Minister for Home Ownership, James Stevens will become Shadow Assistant Minister for Government Waste Reduction and Senator Paul Scarr will become Shadow Assistant Minister for Multicultural Engagement.

Senator Hollie Hughes will become the Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Shadow Assistant Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“These appointments are excellent additions to the Coalition’s stable and united team,” Mr Dutton said. “I can assure all Australians that the Coalition under my leadership will continue focussing on the policy issues that matter.”

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