TANGNEY Liberal MP Ben Morton has been promoted to assistant minister to the prime minister and cabinet in Scott Morrison’s revamped government.
Mr Morton has two young kids and will undoubtedly have to spend more time in Canberra after being appointed one of the prime minister’s closest advisors in the wake of the federal election.
Many federal WA politicians with young families have found the travelling intolerable, the latest being Stirling MP Michael Keenan who resigned at the election to spend more time at home.
Mr Morton says he feels privileged to take on his new role and will never complain.
“I could not be an MP without the wonderful support of my wife Asta and our children,” he says.
“My family is a very important part of this journey and we are sharing this together. It’s tough at times but our family is able to make it work.
Mr Morton’s promotion is reward for being a trusted and long-term confidante to Mr Morrison.
During the election Mr Morton criss-crossed Australia with Mr Morrison and offered political advice on the campaign trail.
“I have known prime minister Scott Morrison for many years, since 2002,” Mr Morton told the Herald.
“We are good friends and work so well together because of our shared values including hard work, family, reward for individual and community effort, aspiration and looking after those that need the support of government.
“These are values shared with so many quiet Australians and will drive me to deliver as assistant minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.”
Mr Morton and Mr Morrison are both former Liberal party state directors and hail from the centre right of the party.
“The role of assistant minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet works with the prime minister and ministers, particularly across different portfolios to implement the government’s priorities.”
Fremantle Labor MP Josh Wilson also got a post-election promotion, picking up the portfolio of shadow assistant minister for the environment.
Mr Wilson said he looked forward to working with shadow minister Terri Butler, who also holds the water portfolio, in ensuring Australia’s land and sea, flora and fauna were protected.
“In my view the most important things are those we share and care for together, which includes our natural environment and heritage,” Mr Wilson said. “I’m fortunate to represent a community with a longstanding interest in environmental proection, and of course Western Australia is home to the UNESCO Fitzgerald biosphere in the South West, among other unique terrestrial and marine habitats and species.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK and STEVE GRANT