At the end of 2015 Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced there will be a reshuffle of the ACT Ministry ahead of the ACT Government election later this year.
Earlier this week Chief Minister Barr announced the ACT Ministry would expand as part of this reshuffle to a total of seven Ministers in Cabinet and two new Ministers would be elected by Labor caucus ballot.
“The ACT is continuing to grow as a jurisdiction, with nearly 400,000 residents and an economy larger than Tasmania. There is major renewal across the Territory with a number of infrastructure projects in each of the city’s town centres. The renewed Ministry will ensure this continues and is a key recommendation from the 2014 independent review into an expanded Assembly.” Chief Minister Barr said.
This week MLA Joy Burch announced she would resign from the Ministry as well this week allowing for an opportunity for other MLAs to enter the Ministry as part of the reshuffle.
On Thursday the 21st January, Chief Minister Barr announced Gungahlin local, Meegan Fitzharris and Dr Chris Bourke will become the next Territory’s Ministers. We congratulate Ms Fitzharris on her appointment and Dr Bourke on his return to the Ministry.
On Friday 24th January, Chief Minister Barr announced the portfolios for each of the Ministers. It was announced Ms Fitzharris will have portfolio responsibilities for, Higher Education, Training and Research, Transport and Municipal Services and being the Assistant Health Minister. Minister Rattenbury will continue to be the Minister for Capital Metro until 30 June 2016 when Transport Canberra is established. At this time Minister Fitzharris will oversee Capital Metro under Transport Canberra.
Minister Fitzharris said: “As a resident of one of Canberra’s outer regions, I will continue to work to ensure that we strengthen our suburbs, already some of the best suburbs in the world to live in. I will also bring a special focus to engaging with Canberra families, particularly mums, across the Territory. As a mother of school-age children, how ACT Government services and facilities meet the needs of parents was one of the things that drove me to stand for public office in the first place.”
With the announcement this week of MLA Mary Porter retiring in February a countback of candidates from the 2012 election will be undertaken. It is expected Jayson Hinder who is running in the upcoming ACT Election in the Yerrabi Electorate will be successful.