RESHUFFLE THIS! – No major surprises, either in regards to the substance or the timing (I lost my job in politics as a result of a pre-Christmas reshuffle in 2014; allows the new people some time to settle in before Parliament resumes in early February):


Motivated by three vacancies: Scotty Ryan’s move sideways into the Presidency of the Senate, my Greek namesake Arthur Sinodinos’s (genuine) continuing health problems, and George Brandis’s retirement to London, which has been on the cards since the start of the year, but has had to wait for more favourable political circumstances, including securing the legacy (same sex marriage).

The big winners seem to be on the right, to the extent the concept such as “the right” has any meaning in the federal parliamentary party anymore: Mathias “The Political Muscle from Brussels*” Cormann, who gets the Special Minister for State gig and the Leadership in the Senate on top of Finance; Michaelia Cash, who gets the new super-ministry of Jobs and Innovation (let’s hope she’s nimble and agile); Peter Dutton, who gets another new super-ministry of Homeland Security, becoming Australia’s inaugural Security Czar; and Christian Porter, who slots into Brandis’s old fiefdom.

Head-scratching: the number of new faces with zero public profile, continuing name changes to ministries and portfolios, and the fact that in addition to the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government there is also the Minister for Rural Health, Regional Communications and Sport (!), as if it all couldn’t be properly brought together under the umbrella of Regional Development.

*from the German border, actually, but it doesn’t rhyme (not that German rhyming is good; even German poetry sounds like a proclamation to the occupied population).