With the COVID-19 response efforts reaching a critical impasse, Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced on Monday that he was temporarily reliving the Hon Greg Hunt MP of his responsibilities as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet.
With ANZAC Day being tipped as the ‘make or break’ point for the measures taken by the Government to slow the spread of COVID-19, this change will allow Mr Hunt in the coming weeks to focus on his role in the COVID-19 response as the Minister for Health.
Current Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Hon Ben Morton MP has been given Mr Hunt’s Public Service duties in the interim. Mr Morton is a close ally of the Prime Minister and is considered to be a key confidant for Mr Morrison.
In mid-2019, Mr Morton was tasked with finalising the Government’s response to the Independent Review into the Public Service, undertaken by former Telstra CEO, Mr David Thodey AO. In the meantime, Mr Morton will be tasked with continuing to roll out the report’s recommendations as well as deal with the Australian Public Service’s transition to remote working during COVID-19.
BACKGROUND – THE HON BEN MORTON MP
The Hon Ben Morton MP has represented the Western Australian seat of Tangney since 2016. Mr Morton was appointed as Assistant Minister for Prime Minster and Cabinet following the May 2019 Federal Election.
Mr Morton has a unique understanding of Australia, growing up on the NSW Central Coast and running as the Liberal candidate for NSW State seat of Wyong before moving to WA for work and eventually running as the federal candidate Liberal Party for Tangney at the 2016 Federal Election.