Health Minister Greg Hunt says he has the prime minister’s endorsement to continue in his role, as the coronavirus pandemic response remains a government priority.
Scott Morrison will announce a reshuffled cabinet and ministry this week, triggered by the resignation of former finance minister Mathias Cormann.
Mr Hunt said Mr Morrison was waiting for the delivery of the mid-year economic update, expected on Thursday, before announcing the frontbench line-up.
“My expectation is I will be remaining in the same role – that is what I would want to do and the prime minister has indicated the same thing,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
“This pandemic is not over and there is important work to do.
“His belief and my belief is continuity in health at this time is fundamental for confidence.”
Asked whether the reshuffle was timed to ensure Australians were focused on things other than politics, Mr Hunt said it was more about parliament finishing for the year and MYEFO being the main focus this week.
“Once that is done the prime minister will be able to focus on the last part of the puzzle before Christmas.”
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – who has been the subject of speculation of a shift to the defence portfolio – indicated he believed he would retain his role.
Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham took on Senator Cormann’s finance and government Senate manager role, in addition to his trade portfolio.
It’s widely expected he will hold onto the finance role, but a new trade minister will be appointed.
Nationals frontbencher David Littleproud said the trade portfolio was a “natural fit” for a Nationals member.
“I think the National Party has had a very long history with trade and obviously we represent regional and rural Australia,” he told the ABC.
“Those are discussions the DPM and the PM are having now, with a new trade minister being announced within the next week.”