Fresh from his failed bid to become prime minister, Peter Dutton has been reinstated to cabinet despite his key role in destabilising the government.
Peter Dutton, who quit the frontbench to launch a strike on Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership last week, was sworn in as home affairs minister at Government House on Monday.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was at the ceremony, with the new prime minister Scott Morrison touring western Queensland to get a first-hand picture of the drought.
‘(Mr Dutton’s) performed extremely well in that important role and will continue to do so,’ Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.
Mr Dutton was returned to his portfolio early so he can attend an intelligence and security meeting, while the rest of Mr Morrison’s 23-member cabinet and wider ministry will be sworn in on Tuesday.
The new ministry includes some of those behind the toppling of Malcolm Turnbull as the Liberal Party tries to heal deep divisions before the next election, due by May 2019.
‘There’s both new faces and the stability and continuity from the Turnbull government,’ Mr Frydenberg said.
It includes six women – up from five under Mr Turnbull – but three-quarters of his full ministry is male.
New Energy Minister Angus Taylor will work on a revised plan to get power prices down and maintain reliable electricity.
‘He’ll bring a fresh set of eyes to a fresh set of challenges,’ Mr Frydenberg said.
WA’s Melissa Price comes into the cabinet to oversee environment policy.
Victorian MP Alan Tudge will take on population and infrastructure, which Mr Morrison said was all about ‘congestion busting’ in the capital cities.
With Julie Bishop going to the backbench and expected to retire from parliament at the next election, former defence minister Marise Payne takes on foreign affairs.
Despite having swung behind Mr Dutton’s tilt at the leadership, Mathias Cormann has been returned as finance minister and Senate leader.
Dutton backer Michael Sukkar has been dumped as assistant treasurer.
‘I’m sure Michael will rise back to the executive and to the ministry in due course. He’ll be around for a long time to come,’ Mr Frydenberg said.
Ex-Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was made special envoy for drought assistance and drought recovery, while former prime minister Tony Abbott has been offered a similar role within indigenous affairs.
Mr Frydenberg said he was hopeful Mr Abbott could play a role in an area he was passionate about.