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Ai Group comment on new Federal Ministry

"Ai Group welcomes the appointment of the new Federal ministry announced by the Prime Minister today," said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

"Josh Frydenberg has the industry and community connections and experience to successfully take on this important and expanded Environment and Energy role. The reorganisation makes a lot of sense given the pressures on the energy market at the moment and the need for energy security and downward pressure on prices. Energy and climate policy are now the same issue, and effective and workable environmental regulation is central to the future of Australia’s gas markets.

"Greg Hunt has worked extremely well with industry and interest groups in the Environment portfolio and this will serve him well as he takes up the challenge as the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Innovation is crucial to the future of industry and it is understandably central to the Government's agenda. We look forward to working with Mr Hunt in his new role.

"The elevation of Defence Industry to the Cabinet table with the appointment of Christopher Pyne underpins the importance of the defence industry sector to our economy and the huge pipeline of work underway. This includes the largest investment in local naval shipbuilding seen in more than 30 years and the acquisition of a new fleet of armoured vehicles estimated to amount to more than $10 billion.

"The addition of Cyber Security to Dan Tehan's portfolio responsibilities emphasises the importance of this area to protecting our national interests.

"Karen Andrews who becomes the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills takes responsibility for a training system facing issues that have never been more important. Her work finalising the Government's review of the VET sector will be essential to building the workforce of the future. Industry will be hoping the appointment ends the revolving door in this ministry which has seen no less than nine different ministers in four years.

"Paul Fletcher as Minister for Urban Infrastructure will have an important role making strategic infrastructure investments that will support the construction sector in the short term and keep our cities moving in the longer term. The portfolio has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits for Australia.

"Ai Group looks to the Government to deliver leadership, stability and direction and this should be the shared ambition of this new front bench," Mr Willox, said.

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347