none

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

21-12-2017
by 
in 
Laurence Marchini

The recent cabinet reshuffle within the Turnbull Government has left a few people (myself included) scratching their heads. What ever happened to “Industry”?

Granted, there are extenuating circumstances: the withdrawal of Senator Arthur Sinodinos from the cabinet to concentrate on his recuperation was always going to leave a big hole to fill. But the subsumption of Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio into the new “super-ministry” of Jobs and Innovation given to Senator Michaelia Cash could be seen as some form of industry aversion.

Nonetheless, Senator Cash has said: “My new role will provide for an even greater focus on fostering innovative new ideas and industries which will further strengthen our economy and create the jobs of the future.”

The opposition has been quick to point out that removing Science from the cabinet and putting it in the hands of Assistant Minister, Senator Zed Seselja marked “only the second time since 1931 we have a Commonwealth Government that doesn’t have a Minister for Science,” according to shadow minister Senator Kim Carr (who presumably is now trying to work out exactly what his own title is).

For anyone who makes a living from manufacturing industry, it does seem rather odd not to be able to identify a cabinet minister with either of the words manufacturing or industry in their title. You might wonder whether there was anybody at the cabinet table carrying the torch for industry?

No doubt Senator Cash would claim to be the champion of the cause, but Jobs and Innovation is such a broad portfolio that there are sure to be conflicts.

Things are somewhat more explicit at the state level, and while cabinet portfolios vary from state to state (and depending on which party is in power), generally industry does have a clearly identifiable voice.

In NSW Niall Blair is Minister for Trade and Industry, while in Victoria Ben Carroll is Minister for Industry and Employment.

South Australia is even more explicit, with Kyam Maher holding the post of Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation. And one of the innovations of the new Queensland cabinet is the inclusion of Minister for Manufacturing as one of the multiple roles filled by Cameron Dick.

Sadly, though, there is no mention of either industry or manufacturing in the Western Australian cabinet, where Dave Kelly acts as Minister for Innovation and ICT as well as being Minister for Science.

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.04.2019
    18.04.2019
    by      In
    Kermit the Frog may have famously said (and sang) that it isn’t easy being green. However, it seems that in 2019 Australia green may well be the new black.
    Politicians of all shades seem to have finally appreciated that the Australian public really does care about the environment, with climate... Read More
  2. 11.04.2019
    11.04.2019
    by      In
    It wasn’t until we decided to expand Industry Update’s coverage of security matters, and in particular cybersecurity, I didn’t realise quite how scary this business is. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the only hope is to close down the Internet altogether and go back to pen and paper.... Read More
  3. 01.03.2019
    01.03.2019
    by      In
    The Federal Government’s instant asset write-off scheme is certainly one of the most “small-business-friendly” measures ever introduced in Australia. But, remarkably, it is also badly misunderstood: recent research by American Express showed that almost half of all small business owners (47%) were... Read More
  4. 14.01.2019
    14.01.2019
    by      In
    The future may well be electric, but for now, Australia remains heavily reliant on oil – both for personal transportation and for the vast bulk of the supply chain. So why has the country allowed its oil reserves to run at a perilously low level?
    Australia is a signatory to an International Energy... Read More