MPs swearing-in to go virtual due to virus

·2-min read

A swearing-in ceremony for Prime Minister Scott Morrison's new ministers will be conducted virtually in the wake of new coronavirus restrictions following a major outbreak in NSW.

Governor-General David Hurley will conduct the swearing-in by video conference from Canberra on Tuesday.

"The prime minister will join His Excellency at Government House and each minister will join via video conference to, in turn, take and sign the oath or affirmation of office," Government House said on Monday.

In a reshuffle last week, Mr Morrison elevated the aged care portfolio to cabinet and made a number of frontbench changes.

But the number of cabinet MP remains at 22 after Mr Morrison shifted some areas of responsibility.

The reshuffle was prompted by the retirement of Mathias Cormann, whose finance portfolio has been handed to Simon Birmingham.

Senator Birmingham's former trade portfolio has been handed to ex-diplomat Dan Tehan, who will need to draw on his skills to rebuild relations with China.

Mr Tehan's education portfolio has gone to fellow Victorian Alan Tudge, who will have responsibility for youth.

Health Minister Greg Hunt will take on primary responsibility for aged care.

The existing aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, will be given a more junior role but remain in the outer ministry.

Paul Fletcher will regain responsibility for urban infrastructure and cities in addition to communication and the arts.

Jane Hume will enter the ministry with responsibility for financial services and the digital economy, while Zed Seselja will take on international development and the Pacific from Alex Hawke.

Mr Hawke will switch to the immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs portfolio.

Queenslander Amanda Stoker will become assistant attorney-general, while fellow conservative Andrew Hastie will become assistant minister for defence.

David Coleman will return to parliament and the ministry after a year of personal leave as an assistant minister for mental health and suicide prevention.

Jonathon Duniam will become the assistant minister for industry development while Ben Morton, an assistant minister to the prime minister, will also take on responsibility for the public service.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and all National Party ministers remain in their current positions.