Ministerial reshuffle leaves Anzac centenary minister out of a job

Update 21 September 2015: farewell media release from Senator Ronaldson.

Prime Minister Turnbull’s new ministry does not include Senator Michael Ronaldson, formerly Miniser for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. The prime minister thanked Senator Ronaldson for his service.

XT4Minister Ronaldson (Parliament of Australia)

Minister Ronaldson has been distinguished by, on the one hand, competent (as far as Honest History can judge) administration of the welfare side of his portfolio, and, on the other hand, an inability to enforce basic arithmetic in his portfolio, a blatant attempt to wedge the Opposition on a particularly egregious commemoration project, and a liking for bloodthirsty speeches, particularly where the future of our children and grandchildren is concerned.

The new Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is Stuart Robert, MP for the Gold Coast seat of Fadden. He is a former army officer and a former Assistant Minister for Defence. He is also to be Minister for Human Services but there is no indication that he carries the additional designation of ‘Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac’. Update 7.35 pm: official list now available with divisions by portfolio; shows Mr Robert is also Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. We used a list from SBS which contained an error. Apologies!

It will be interesting to see how quickly and how fully the new minister meets the expectations of the commemoration constituency. As long ago as 1963, the then Minister for Repatriation was often called ‘the Minister for the RSL‘ and the close link continues, on the commemorative as well as the welfare side.

HWTMinister-designate Robert (Parliament of Australia)

The designation of a Minister as ‘Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac’ was a Labor innovation, continued by the Coalition. Minister Ronaldson held this extra title since he was first sworn in two years ago.

Honest History has been critical of Senator Ronaldson as minister. We wish him well. We congratulate Minister-designate Robert.

David Stephens

20 September 2015

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