Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has appointed Stephen Jones as Deputy Treasurer and Secretary for Financial Services, giving the climate change and cybersecurity portfolios increased focus in the Cabinet.
Murray Watt has been appointed Secretary of State for Emergency Management and continues to exercise an area of responsibility that lies in the shadows, while Chris Bowen has been appointed Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy and Clare O’Neil Minister for Cybersecurity.
Mr. Albanese announced the ministry’s full lineup yesterday after confirming a number of key appointments, including Jim Chalmers as Treasurer, ahead of his trip to Japan for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue meeting.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) essentially says new ministers will ensure continuity from the opposition to the sector and looks forward to working with Mr Jones on implementation of the North Australian Reinsurance Pool, among other things.
“There is no shortage of issues faced by ministers in insurance departments, and the ICA looks forward to continuing our work with ministers we know well and those who are new to our areas of interest,” said ICA- CEO Andrew Hall today.
“We are very pleased that Senator Murray Watt will retain emergency management and join the Cabinet, which is a testament to the hard work he has put into this difficult portfolio area.”
Labor’s pledge of $200 million a year in mitigation funds, matching ICA’s target spending, was announced by Mr Albanese and Mr Watt in January ahead of the general election campaign.
ICA says insurers “well understand” the impact of climate change and welcome the return of the Climate Action Portfolio and its position in Cabinet under Mr Bowen’s “able leadership”.
Insurers have also supported the increased focus on cyber issues as they examine how the industry can protect businesses.
Mr Hall thanked former Shadow Deputy Secretary for Financial Services Matt Thistlethwaite for his “very collaborative and open-minded approach to the insurance sector over the past three years”.
Mr. Thistlethwaite left Treasury to become Assistant Secretary of Defense, Veterans Affairs and the Republic.
In other appointments, Katy Gallagher will become Treasury Secretary and Jenny McAllister Deputy Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy.