Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has instead made former Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia as part of his Cabinet reshuffle.
A dedicated resources and energy portfolio was absent from Tony Abbott’s Cabinet, with the role instead being incorporated into the Industry portfolio.
Northern Australia is a new portfolio, but one Turnbull said was a key element of the government’s agenda.
“Josh Frydenberg is a powerful advocate,” Turnbull said.
“We have a great story to tell on Northern Australia. It is a region of immense opportunity. It needs a powerful advocate and there are few that can match Josh's dynamism and passion for change and for the development of our nation.”
Frydenberg said he was humbled to be appointed to the role.
“It is a great privilege to be able to serve in Prime Minister Turnbull’s Cabinet in this capacity,” he said.
“I look forward to working hard to ensure our nation has a productive and innovative resources and energy sector and a Northern Australia which fully capitalises on its enormous potential.
Ian Macfarlane’s other role, Industry, went to Christopher Pyne.
Turnbull paid tribute to Macfarlane’s contribution, describing him as “one of my very, very best friends in this place”.
The Minerals Council of Australia described Macfarlane’s services to the resources industry, both under Abbott and John Howard, as “outstanding”