WA’s MEMBER for Durack Melissa Price has been promoted to the Federal government’s new-look frontbench at the end of a tumultuous week for the Liberal Party in Canberra.
Ms Price, who represents the largest Australian electorate by land mass, was given the Environment portfolio at the weekend as new Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his Cabinet following last week’s Liberal Party leadership spill that marked the end of Malcolm Turnbull’s political career.
It’s the first time a female regional MP from WA has been elected to Cabinet, an achievement Ms Price said she was “proud and deeply humbled” to acknowledge.
“It is an honour to be appointed to Cabinet as the Minister for Environment in the Morrison Government,” Ms Price said.
“I look forward to serving the Prime Minister as part of the ministry, and we are united in our resolve to deliver the standard of government that Australians expect and deserve.”
Ms Price was elected to the House of Representatives for Durack in 2013 and has been working as Assistant Minister for the Environment since late last year.
The Kalgoorlie-raised minister said she was confident her experience as Assistant Minister would place her in good stead in her new portfolio.
“In my role as the Assistant Minister my responsibilities included reviewing our national waste management strategy, preserving Australia’s biodiversity and delivering targets under the Threatened Species Strategy, and overseeing the transition to new management plans for our world-leading marine reserves,” Ms Price said.
“I am proud of the work achieved during my tenure as the Assistant Minister, particularly in setting ambitious national targets to reduce Australia’s waste and encourage industry to transition to more sustainable practices.
“It is a great privilege to take full responsibility for this portfolio and I welcome the opportunity to continue the Government’s work in delivering a cleaner future for Australia.”
As part of the Cabinet reshuffle the Environment and Energy portfolio - previously held by new Deputy Liberal Leader Josh Frydenberg - has been separated, with New South Wales MP Angus Taylor announced as the new Energy Minister.
Ms Price said she was looking forward to carrying out her responsibilities in the revamped portfolio.
“The restoration of Environment as a stand-alone ministry will allow me to focus solely on delivering better outcomes for Australia’s unique natural assets and preserving our country for future generations,” Ms Price said.
“I also represent an incredibly diverse regional electorate that covers roughly half of Western Australia, where some 20 per cent of all threatened species in Australia are found.”
Meantime, member for O’Connor Rick Wilson has welcomed the election of Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg to the Liberal Party’s leadership team.
Mr Wilson said the new leadership team represented a “generational change” within the party that would place it in good position to take on the Australian Labor Party at the next election.
“As Treasurer, Scott Morrison has presided over unprecedented economic achievements and I’m pleased that as Prime Minister he will be able to oversee the continuation of those policies,” Mr Wilson said.
“It was Scott Morrison who developed the process that has delivered a fairer and ultimately permanent change to the GST allocation for WA, and his election means there is no possibility of that agreement being altered.”