Portfolio goes missing in ministry shuffle

The Coalition Government seems to have dropped the financial services portfolio from its ministerial line-up. Former financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer has been moved to the Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women portfolio, with no obvious replacement. insuranceNEWS.com.au contacted Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s office to ask why there is no new financial services minister, but did not receive an official response. However, a spokesman said “on background” that the minister responsible for financial services “will be determined in due course” as the ministry “hasn’t even been sworn in yet”. New Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ministry has Stuart Robert as Assistant Treasurer and Zed Seselja as Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance. Mathias Cormann retains his role as Finance Minister, with Alex Hawke appointed Special Minister of State in the Treasury portfolio. Insurance Council of Australia spokesman Campbell Fuller told insuranceNEWS.com.au it is currently unclear which minister will be responsible for general insurance. “We have received notice of the new ministry and we are seeking to clarify roles and responsibilities compared with the previous cabinet,” he said. Shadow Financial Services Minister Clare O’Neil says less than 48 hours into the Morrison Government, Australia has lost a dedicated financial services minister. “It is a critical time in the financial services sector,” she said. “The banking royal commission provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create more fairness in an industry that affects every Australian. “It is beyond belief that Scott Morrison would leave Australians without a dedicated financial services minister in the middle of the royal commission.” 

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