Greg Hunt MP was sworn in as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science on 19 July, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reshuffled his front bench after securing re-election in the 2 July general election.

Hunt’s appointment was part of a complete shake-up of the ministerial team at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Senator Matt Canavan was sworn in as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, while Craig Laundy MP was appointed as Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Hunt’s predecessor as Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, was moved into the role of Minister for Defence Industry, and reappointed Leader of the House.

Minister Hunt said it was a “great honour” to be appointed to the role, commenting: “I look forward to continuing the implementation of the Prime Minister’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. I would also like to congratulate my ministerial colleague Christopher Pyne for the leadership and energy he brought to this portfolio – they will certainly be big shoes to fill.’

Industry leaders were welcoming of the reshuffle and of Hunt’s appointment. AMTIL CEO Shane Infanti expressed his support for the ministerial appointments and optimism at the prospect of working with Minister Hunt.

“Firstly, we would like to congratulate the Coalition regarding the election result,” said Infanti. “Australian manufacturing needs a period of stability and certainty over government policy, and hopefully with the re-election of the Turnbull Government we can now see that. AMTIL believes Greg Hunt will make an excellent Industry Minister, and we look forward to being able to work with and support him going forward.”

Ai Group CEO Innes Willox praised Hunt’s work in his previous role as Environment Minister. He also endorsed the renewed ministerial focus on the defence industry.

“Innovation is crucial to the future of industry and it is understandably central to the Government’s agenda,” said Willox. “We look forward to working with Mr Hunt in his new role.

“The elevation of Defence Industry to the Cabinet table with the appointment of Christopher Pyne underpins the importance of the defence industry sector to our economy and the huge pipeline of work underway. This includes the largest investment in local naval shipbuilding seen in more than 30 years and the acquisition of a new fleet of armoured vehicles estimated to amount to more than $10bn.”

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) also voiced its approval of the reshuffle. However, it added that it was disappointed that that the post of Minister for Small Business had been removed from Cabinet

“We welcome Greg Hunt’s appointment as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science,” said James Pearson, CEO of the ACCI. “Innovation is essential to Australia’s economic future and I encourage Minister Hunt to develop policies that open up new opportunities for Australian businesses.

“It is disappointing that Prime Minister Turnbull has chosen to place the portfolio outside of Cabinet. However we look forward to working with Small Business Minister Michael McCormack to ensure the concerns of small business are heard so those enterprises can continue to grow, invest and employ staff.”