PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

Statement by the Prime MInister Designate The Hon John Howard MP

Prime Minister - Howard, John

Media Release - 08 March 1996

VIEW ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT: Statement by the Prime MInister Designate The Hon John Howard MP View original scan of this transcript

The swearing in of the first Howard Ministry will take place on Monday I1I March 1996. Today I announce the composition of the Ministry and the Departmental changes which I will be recommending to the Governor-General.

The Ministry list is attached to this statement.

The Ministry is talented, dedicated and determined to govern in the best interests of the Australian people. We begin this task with a great sense of the responsibility which the Australian people have bestowed upon us and the expectations they rightly have that we will
implement our programme with integrity, energy and an ongoing sense of their needs and concerns.

The Ministry reflects the ' broad church' of views and prioritie s for which the Coalition Parties stand. It consists of men and women drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests and all committed to ensuring that Australia realises; more of its great potential to the benefit of all in our community.

In line with our commitments to smaller governmnent, the size of both the Ministry and the Cabinet will be reduced from their levels under the previous government. A more streamlined government will also enhance the quality and timeliness of decision-making.

I will also be appointing Parliamentary Secretaries in a number of portfolios who will complement the Ministerial team. Parliamentary Secretaries to the Prime Minister will be Chris Miles who will have responsibility for Cabinet issues and Senator Nick Minchin who will
have responsibility for arrangements relating to the Constitutional Convention and Native Title legislation.

In considering appropriate administrative structures, I have had in mind:

- the importance of effective implementation of the policies and priorities of the Government
- the desirability, in so me areas, of rationalising allocations of functions
- the need to minimise the degree of administrative disruption to ensure that agencies can carry out the important tasks they will now have. 6367

There will be no new departments of State, but two departments, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Housing and Regional Development, will be abolished and their functions absorbed into existing departments.

The functions of the Department of Tourism, which is by far the smallest Commonwealth department, will be allocated to the ( renamed) Department of Industry, Science and Tourism under John Moore.

Upon the abolition of Housing and Regional Development, responsibility for industry aspects of housing will return to the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism. Portfolio coverage of two of our most important industries housing and tourism will thus be consolidated. Welfare housing will pass to the Department of Social Security under Jocelyn Newman while John Sharp will have responsibility for regional development as the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, in charge of the department of that name. Local government will be the responsibility of Warwick Smith as Minister for Sport, Territories and
Local Government, one of the two Ministers in the portfolio of Environment, Sport and Territories. The senior minister, who will represent the portfolio in the Cabinet as Minister for the Environment, is Senator Robert Hill.

Other significant rationalisations of functions include:
- consumer affairs functions, currently the responsibiliy of the Attorney-General's portfolio, will transfer to the portfolio of Industry, Science and Tourism where they will be the responsibility of Geoff Prosser as Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs.

-Senator Jocelyn Newman will be the Minister Assisting me for the Status of Women. The Office of the Status of Women will, as I undertook before the election, remain in my department.

-the science functions until now located in the Prime Minister's portfolio will move to the Industry, Science and Tourism portfolio, where they will be the responsibility of Peter McGauran as Minister for Science and Technology.

-the Office of Multicultural Affairs will move from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet into the renamed portfolio of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, to be administered by Philip Ruddock.

The new Productivity Commission, which combines the functions of the Industry Comrmission, the Economic Planning Advisory Commission and the Bureau of Industry Economics, will be located in the Treasury portfolio under Peter Costello once the legislation to create it is in
place. Meanwhile, the three agencies will be co-located in the portfolio so that amalgamation can begin on an administrative basis. The Australian Securities Commission will also transfer
to the Treasury portfolio. It is important, in the view of the governent, that responsibility for regulation of financial markets be consolidated in a single portfolio.

Two other departments will be renamed so as to better reflect the priorities of the government. They are the Department of H-ealth and Family Services, which in addition to having Michael Wooldridge as the portfolio minister, will have Judi Moylan as the Minister for Family
Services; and Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, where the portfolio minister will be Senator Amanda Vanstone, with David Kemp as the Minister for Schools, Vocational Education and Training.

The Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives will be Peter Reith and the Deputy Leader will be Peter McGauran.

The Leader of the Government in the Senate will be Senator Robert Hill and the Deputy Leader will be Senator Richard Alston.

The Chief Government Whip in the House of Representatives will be Alan Cadman and Government Whips will be Stewart McArthur and Trish Worth. National Party Whips will be Noel Hicks and Garry Nehi.

Mr Bob Halverson who served as Chief Opposition Whip informed me that he did not wish to be considered for appointment as Chief Government Whip. It is my understanding that he will seek the support of the Liberal Party in another position.

There will be some changes in departmental secretary arrangements.

Mr Paul Barratt who has been the Executive Director of the Business Council of Australia since 1992 will rejoin the public service as Secretary to the Department of Primary Industries and Energy. Other newly appointed secretaries will be:

Mr Philip Flood, to head the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Flood has been Director-General of the Office of National Assessments since 1995.

Mr Roger Beale, who is Associate Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, will be Secretary to the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories.

Dr Neil Johnston, who is a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Social Security, will be Secretary to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Because we are reducing the number of departments and making some new appointments, several secretaries will be leaving the public service. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their contribution to the public service and the nation.

Dr Michael Keating, the head of my department, has informed me that he intended to retire this year. Dr Keating is a highly professional public servant who is widely respected for his work at the centre of public sector reform. I have asked him to stay on for the time being to
assist with the transition of the new government. I would hope that Dr Keating will continue to have some involvement with the Commonwealth Government after he retires.

The opportunity has also been taken for some rotation of departmental secretaries. A list of departmental secretaries is attached.

We have a high regard for these public service leaders and for the public service as a whole. We expect secretaries, and the departments they manage, to make a significant contribution to good and effective government as we set about implementing our policy programme.

I have also decided to establish a Cabinet Office within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Michael L'Estrange will head the office and be accountable directly to the Prime Minister. Mr L'Estrange has experience as an officer of the Department of the Prime Minister
and Cabinet and as Chief Policy Adviser to former Coalition Leaders, as well as heading the Canberra-based Menzies Research Centre since its establishment. The Cabinet Office will be a small unit, staffed from within and outside the public service, which will provide the Prime
Minister with advice on issues before Cabinet as well as strategic policy directions.

8 March 1996

(See PDF for formatted copy of Ministry List and Departmental Secretaries)


MR TIM FISCHER MP Minister for Trade
Deputy Prime Minister
M'vR JOHN ANDERSON MP Minister for Primary Industries and Energy
SENATOR ROBERT HILL Minister for the Environment
Leader of the Government in the Senate
SENATOR RICHARD ALSTON Minister for Communications and the Arts
Deputy Leader of the Government in the
MR PETER REITH NIP Minister for Industrial Relations
Leader of the House
SENATOR JOCELYN NEWMAN Minister for Social Security and Minister
Assistine the Prime Minister for the Status
of Women
MRALEXNDERDOWNR MP Minister for Foreign Affairs
THE HON JOHN MOORE NIP Minister for Industry, Science Tourism
President of the Executive Council
MR LAN MCLACHLAN AO MIP Minister for Defence
MR JOHN SHARP MP Minister for Transport Regional
DR MICHAEL WOOLDRIDGE MP Minister for Health Family Services
THE HON JOHN FAHEY Minister for Finance
SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE Minister for Employment, Education,
and Youth Affirs.
MR PHILIP RUDDOCK MP Minister for Immigration Multicultural
MR PETER MCGAURAN MP Minister for Science Technology
Deput Leader of the House
DR DAVID KEMPTMNP Minister for Schools, Vocational Education
Training Minister Assisting the Prime
for the Public Service
SENATOR JIM SHORT Assistant Treasurer
SENATOR WARWICK PARER Minister for Resources and Energy
MR GEOFF PROSSER MP' Minister for Small Business Consumer
MRS JUDI MOYLAN MP Minister for Family Services
MRS BRONWYN BISHOP MP Minister for Defence Industry, Science
MR DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
MR WARWICK SMITH MP' Minister for Sport, Territories and Local
MR BRUCE SCOTT MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs
SENATOR JOHN HERRON Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Affairs
MR DAVID lULL MN' Minister for-Adm'linistrative Services
denotes Cabinet Minister 6371

Prime Minister The Hon John Howard MP Senator Robert Hill
Minister for Aboriginal and Senator John Herron Dr Michael Wooldridge MP
Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Parliamentary Secretary Mr Chris Miles MP
( Cabinet)
Parliamentary Secretary Senator Nick Minchin
Minister for Trade Mr Tim Fischer MP Senator Robert Hill
Deputy Prime Minister
Parliamentary Secretary Senator David Brownhill
Treasurer Mr Peter Costello MP Senator Jim Short
Assistant Treasurer Senator Jim Short
Parliamentary Secretary Senator Brian Gibson
Minister for Primary Mr John Anderson MP Senator Warwick Parer
Industries and Energy
Minister for Resources and Senator Warwick Parer Mr John Anderson NIP
Energy Parliamentary Secretay Senator David Brownhill
Minister for the Senator Robert Hill Mr Warwick Smith MP
Environment Leader of the Government in
the Senate
Minister for Sport, Territories Mr Warwick Smith Senator Robert Hill
and Local Government
ParliamentaryS ecretary Senator Ian Campbell
Minister for Senator Richard Alston Mr Warwick Smith MP
Communications and the
Arts Deputy Leader of the
Government in the Senate
Minister for Industrial Mr Peter Reith MP Senator Richard Alston
Relations Leader of the House
Minister for Social Security Senator Jocelyn Newman Mr Philip Ruddock MP
and Minister Assisting the
Prime Minister for the
Status of Women
Parliamentary Secretary Senator Rod Kemp
Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Alexander Downer MP Senator Robert Hill
ParliamentaryS ecretary Mr Andrew Thomson MP

Minister for Industry, The Hon John Moore MP Senator Warwick Parer
Science Tourism
( Vice President of the
Executive Council)
Minister for Science and Mr Peter McGauran MP Senator Warwick Parer
Deputy Leader of the House
Minister for Small Business Mr Geoff Prosser MP Senator Warwick Parer
and Consumer Affairs
Minister for Defence Mr Ian McLachlan AO MP Senator Jocelyn Newman
Minister for Defence Mrs Bronwyn Bishop MP Senator Jocelyn Newman
Industry, Science and
Personnel Minister for Veterans' Affairs Mr Bruce Scott MP Senator Jocelyn Newman
Minister for Transport and Mr John Sharp MP Senator Richard Alston
Regional Development
Parliamentary Secretary Senator Grant Tambling
Minister for Health and Dr Michael Wooldridge MP Senator Jocelyn Newman
Family Services
Minister for Family Services Mrs Judi Moylan IP Senator Jocelyn Newman
Parliamentary Secretary Senator Bob Woods
Minister for Finance The Hon John Fahey MP Senator Jim Short
Minister for Administrative
Services Mr David Jull MIP Senator Jim Short
Minister for Employment, Senator Amanda Vanstone Dr David Kemp MP
Education, Training and
Youth Affairs
Minister for Schools, Dr David Kemp M Senator Amanda Vanstone
Vocational Education and
Training and Minister
Assisting the Prime Minister
for the Public Service
Parliamentary Secretary Mr Tony Abbott MP
Minister for Immigration and Mr Philip Ruddock M Senator Jim Short
Multicultural Affairs
Attorney-General and Mr Daryl Williams AM QC Senator Amanda Vanstone
Minister for Justice MIP
Cabinet Ministers are shown in bold type 6373

Administrative Services ( in Finance portfolio) Mr John Mellors
Attorney-General's Mr Stephen Skehill
Communications and the Arts Mr Neville Stevens
Defence Mr Tony Ayers AC
Employment, Education, Training and Youth Mr Sandy Hollway
Affairs Environment, Sport and Territories Mr Roger Beale
Finance Mr Steve Sedgwick
Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Philip Flood AO
Health and Family Services Mr Andrew Podger
Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Ms Helen Williams AO
Industrial Relations Dr David Rosalky
Industry, Science and Tourism Mr Greg Taylor AO
Primary Industries and Energy Mr Paul Barratt
Prime Minister and Cabinet Dr Michael Keating AC
Social Security Mr Tony Blunn AO
Transport and Regional Development Mr Allan Hawke
Treasury Mr Ted Evans
Veterans' Affairs ( in Defence portfolio) Dr Neil Johnston