AHURI News

Who are the new Ministers for housing, homelessness, cities and urban issues?

The first ministry of Scott Morrison’s government has been announced

5 September 2018

The change in leadership of the Commonwealth Government has brought new Ministers to the portfolios that are connected with important housing, homelessness, cities and urban issues.

Inner Ministries

The Hon Scott Morrison MP (Liberal Party), the Prime Minister, has engaged closely with AHURI and the research undertaken by our partner universities in his previous roles as Treasurer and Minister for Social Services. Prime Minister Morrison also has a strong background in housing issues having been National Manager, Policy and Research, of the Property Council of Australia between 1989 and 1995.

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP (Liberal Party) is Treasurer, a role that has a large impact on the work of those in Australia’s housing and homelessness sector. The Treasury oversees the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and the Bills relating to the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, which enables the Commonwealth to provide financial assistance to the states for housing, homelessness and housing affordability matters. Minister Frydenberg has a background in Law, and is keenly interested in issues of public policy.

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie (The Nationals) is the Minister for Regional Services, Local Government and Decentralisation. As part of this Ministry, Senator McKenzie sees ‘getting people out of our congested cities and into our regions' as a core priority. Prior to being elected to Parliament, Senator McKenzie worked as a teacher in secondary and lecturer in tertiary education.

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP (Liberal Party) is the Minister for Families and Social Services. Minister Fletcher has a background in the law, economics and the communications sector. Prior to his most recent Ministerial appointment, he was Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities. The Department of Social Services delivers services such as Commonwealth Rent Assistance, the on-going National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH).

Outer Ministries

The Hon Alan Tudge MP (Liberal Party) is the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, the ministry that oversees the Smart Cities and City Deals programs which aim to bring all levels of government together to improve the productivity and liveability of Australian cities. Minister Tudge’s background is in business, including several years with the Boston Consulting Group in Australia, Malaysia and New York, and running his own advisory business.

Senator the Hon Zed Seselja (Liberal Party), Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, studied Arts and Law at the Australian National University before joining the Commonwealth Public Service as a Lawyer. Previously, Senator Seselja was elected to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly in 2004 before resigning to stand for the Senate for the Australian Capital Territory. Senator Seseljia will support the Treasurer in a portfolio that has responsibility for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, amongst other programs.

The Hon Sarah Henderson MP (Liberal Party), the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, has an extensive background as a journalist and lawyer, and won a Walkley award for her coverage of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

The inclusion of Housing in the Minister’s portfolio is a welcome addition to the Government’s frontbench.