Greg Hunt announced as Sussan Ley's replacement as Health Minister
Jan 18 2017 by Desiree Burns
The move was required to free up a lower house MP to replace Health Minister Sussan Ley.
The Prime Minister confirms as senior minister, Mr Hunt will represent the Aged Care sector in Cabinet.
Former Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt has now moved into the health minister role, with Arthur Sinodinos taking on the vacated innovation portfolio.
He takes over from Sussan Ley, who resigned as the senior health minister on Friday after becoming embroiled in an expenses controversy (read AAA's story here).
Health is considered an area of weakness for the Coalition, which nearly lost the last election because of Labor's Medicare scare campaign, and Mr Hunt will need to deal quickly with issues such as the GP rebate freeze, spiralling private health costs and a pharmacy review.
Announcing the changes, Turnbull praised Hunt as having "strong policy, analytical and communication skills, developed over a very long front bench career".
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Initial confusion among journalists led to incorrect reports the role was to return to a bureaucrat in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In another appointment of note, Michael Sukkar becomes the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.
Ken Wyatt, who was assisting minister to Ms Ley, will become the Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health.
The prime minister told reporters that there was more talent on his backbench that there were portfolios, saying it was a "lucky" position for him to be in.
The new ministers will be sworn in by the Governor-General in Canberra next Tuesday.
Mr Turnbull noticeably avoided appointing Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos to the high profile Health job, probably in part because Mr Sinodinos' reputation appears to have been somewhat tarnished by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption's (ICAC) investigation into jailed Labor MP Eddie Obeid's links to Australian Water Holdings (AWH), of which Mr Sinodinos was chairman.