AU: PM Turnbull reshuffles Cabinet, expands environment and energy portfolios

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed the new Ministerial line-up today, with the appointment of Josh Frydenberg to lead the wider Environment and Energy portfolio.

Josh Frydenberg will move to the expanded Environment and Energy portfolio combining all the key energy policy areas, PM Turnbull revealed.

These include energy security and domestic energy markets for which Frydenber was previously responsible in the current portfolio, as well as renewable energy targets, clean energy development and financing and emission reduction mechanisms which are part of Environment.

Greg Hunt will move from Environment to become the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, where he will drive the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Clean Energy Council, Australia’s industry association comprised from companies operating in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency, has welcomed the changes made by the PM Turnbull deeming the Cabinet reshuffle and portfolios alignment as ‘a smart step forward that recognizes the significant policy relationship between the energy sector and Australia’s climate change commitments.’

Kane Thornton, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, said the combination of the energy and environment portfolios made a lot of sense and the industry looked forward to working with Minister Frydenberg to continue to transition Australia’s energy sector.

Thornton said: “Australia has a big challenge and opportunity in transitioning its energy sector to a cleaner, more modern system, and it’s critical that climate policy and energy policy are all pulling in the same direction.

“Australia has some of the oldest and highest-polluting electricity generation in the world, and clear and coordinated policy is crucial to attract private investment in clean energy and deliver a reliable and low-cost energy supply.

“This can deliver billions of dollars in investment and tens of thousands of jobs into the future with the right policy settings.”