In September, we wrote about the elevation of Steven Ciobo to the new position of Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
His time in the role was short-lived. On the weekend in a ministry reshuffle, Ciobo was promoted to the trade portfolio, and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells became the new Minister of International Development and the Pacific.
Most recently the Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the NSW Senator has previously served as the Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing and Parliamentary Secretary for Social Services.
A search of Hansard has not revealed much about her stance on foreign aid or the Pacific, but in her multicultural affairs role, she has expressed support for the humanitarian resettlement of Syrian refugees. She also recently spoke on the need to combat human trafficking. You can see how she has voted on a number of issues here. Prior to her appointment, Fierravanti-Wells was not a member of either the Senate or Joint foreign affairs committees.
Under the current government, this role, and the parliamentary secretary role that proceeded it, has had quick turnover. Senator Brett Mason was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs from the Coalition’s election victory in September 2013 until December 2014 (14 months). Steven Ciobo was then appointed as his replacement. In September 2015 the role was upgraded to its current ministerial-level position (Ciobo’s total time in both positions was also 14 months).