​Arthur Sinodinos claims innovation as Turnbull reshuffles cabinet again

Cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos has been announced as the country's new minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced new changes to his ministry, following the resignation of Health Minister Sussan Ley last week, amid concerns over her travel expenses.

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.

Sinodinos is currently a senator representing New South Wales, and was previously former prime minister John Howard's senior economic adviser and chief of staff. Sinodinos was acting in the health minister role immediately following Ley's resignation.

As the former Assistant Treasurer, Sinodinos stood aside in 2014 while the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigated Australian Water Holdings, of which Sinodinos was a former director. No findings were made against him when ICAC handed down its report in 2016, but it said it was "difficult to accept" that Sinodinos had no knowledge of a trust used to circumvent NSW political donation laws.

Addressing journalists in Sydney on Wednesday, Turnbull said again that the innovation portfolio is critical for generating the jobs of the future.

"Senator Sinodinos' public policy experience over many, many years gives him a strong understanding of the key drivers of new sources of economic growth and our government can ensure that its policies deliver the innovation, the investment, the technology that will secure the future for our children and grandchildren," he said.

Hunt replaced Christopher Pyne in July, after Turnbull reshuffled his cabinet following an election victory. At the time, Pyne moved into the role of minister for Defence Industry, where he remains.

The role encompassing innovation duties was created to aid in rolling out Turnbull's AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda. In his new role, Sinodinos will be helped by Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Craig Laundy, as well as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor.

Hunt now takes on Ley's previous ministerial responsibilities, which includes My Health Record, the Australian government's e-health record system.

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