Abbott's New Ministry – where did Science go (and Health and Local Government and Arts)?

Jessy Burke / September 20, 2013 03:52 PM

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his ministry on September 16, leaving some to wonder where the Ministers for Science, Health and Women had gotten to. 

Was their absence an indicator of the Prime Minister's level of regard for those issues?

Never fear, it turns out that Mr Abbott, for the purposes of brevity, has elected to shorten portfolio names. “What I’ve tried to do is to avoid long and sonorous titles, because once you start mentioning one lot, you’ve got to start mentioning everyone or they feel that they’re in some way neglected,” Mr Abbott said.

Science, Health, Local Government and Women are still issues of significance, but are under a much broader portfolio name.

The science portfolio has been split, with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane guiding “science policy, science engagement and awareness, promotion of collaborative research in science and technology, co-ordination of research policy, creation and development of research infrastructure, commercialisation and utilisation of public sector research relating to portfolio programmes and agencies and research grants and fellowships.” Christopher Pyne, as education minister, takes on responsibility for university-related science issues.

The lengthy “Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport” has also been split. The new Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, also assumes control of the Sport portfolio. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is the new Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, a position which will include local government responsibilities.

The Arts no longer have a stand-alone ministry, but have been absorbed into the Attorney-General's portfolio.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott also takes on Indigenous affairs, women's policies and programs, deregulation, national security and relations with state governments, while Michaelia Cash is his Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

Twitter reacted to the announcements in typical Twitter-fashion:

20130920 Ministry Tweets (1)


20130920 Ministry Tweets (2)

20130920 Ministry Tweets (3)


20130920 Ministry Tweets (4)


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