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Above: Angus Taylor, the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister with special responsibility for Cities and Digital Transformation. Credit: Office of Angus Taylor
The Minister for Cities and the Built Environment role has been removed from parliament as part of a recent cabinet reshuffle, after just being introduced by Malcolm Turnbull last September.
The Minister for Cities and the Built Environment role has been downgraded to be the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister with special responsibility for Cities and Digital Transformation. Angus Taylor is undertaking the position, and shared the announcement of his new role on Facebook.
“I am… delighted to have responsibility for cities, particularly given that the new boundaries of Hume span the fastest growing parts of outer Sydney, as well as the growing regional city of Goulburn. Our capital cities and regional cities struggle with affordability, amenity and congestion. This must be a priority for the Federal government, as a major investor in transport infrastructure,” he said.
The Prime Minister defended the choice to downgrade the Minister for Cities position in an interview this week, saying the focus on cities would not be lost, and that the decision actually promoted the role.
“What I’ve done is I’m moving the Cities Unit which has been in the Department of Environment – it’s essentially a policy development unit – I’m moving that into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet… Because it has a whole of government impact, it really needs to be in the central agency, the most important agency in the government, which is, of course, the Prime Minister’s own department,” he said.
Mr Turnbull introduced the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment position when he became Prime Minister, calling for more of a focus on cities and public transport within the government’s agenda. The announcement of the role and the government’s specific focus on the area was welcomed by many.
Jamie Briggs was appointed to the position, however resigned soon after following an incident with a female staffer at a bar in Hong Kong.