Ministerial swearing-in ceremony goes virtual amid NSW coronavirus outbreak

By Matthew Elmas

Monday December 21, 2020

The PM announced major changes to Australia’s vaccination rollout and quarantine system following a late-night national cabinet meeting. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

A swearing-in ceremony for ministers appointed to the Morrison government’s reshuffled cabinet will now be held virtually tomorrow, after officials decided it would be too risky to hold an in-person event amid NSW’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said arrangements had been made with Governor General David Hurley for a virtual swearing in on Tuesday, with a secondary in-person ceremony to be held in January.

“Bringing people from around the country to the ACT, including from Sydney, we don’t think it is a wise decision,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Unveiled last Friday in response to the retirement of former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle will see Dan Tehan replace Simon Birmingham (the new Finance minister) in the trade portfolio, and elevate aged care into cabinet under health minister Greg Hunt.

Jane Hume has been appointed to the outer ministry as minister for superannuation, financial services and the digital economy; Zed Seselja will be minister for international development and the Pacific; and Alex Hawke will shift into the immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs portfolio.

Senator Amanda Stoker will be appointed as a parliamentary secretary assisting Attorney-General Christian Porter, while Andrew Hastie will assist in the defence portfolio.

The virtual signing in ceremony will make the reshuffle official, allowing the arrangements to become official.

Read more: The Briefing: Reactions to the Brereton report span grief, anger, defensiveness and more


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