Mr Pitt, believed to have voted for Michael McCormack last week, was sent to the back bench by Barnaby Joyce, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison intervened.
Wanting Mr Pitt to be kept, he argued that he is doing a good job in an important sector that has a close affinity with the coalition and that Mr Pitt works well with the stakeholders. As a compromise, Mr. Pitt kept his portfolios but was demoted to create a Cabinet position for one of Mr. Joyce’s financiers.
“Scott made it clear that anything remotely related to resources or water has Keith in the room,” a government source said.
Work confiscations in the event of demotion
The intention to downgrade such a portfolio was picked up by Labor, which sent its shadow cabinet to Port Hedland this week as a token of support for the resource sector.
“It’s pretty extraordinary that resources are not a cabinet position,” said Head of State Anthony Albanese, who is unable to attend the meeting due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“It is certainly in my shadow cabinet. Madeleine King brings that perspective and from the great state of WA’s resources. “
Industry groups have also questioned the downgrade. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said the value of Australia’s resources and revenue from energy exports is projected to hit a record $ 310 billion in 2020-21, up from $ 299 billion in 2019 -20.
The Minerals Council of Australia said Mr. Pitt “performed well as Minister for Resources and the MCA looks forward to continuing to work closely with him on specific matters relating to the minerals industry.”
As the largest contributor to GDP sector, he looks forward to the return of resources to the cabinet.
Andrew McConville, executive director of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, said the export projections “illustrate the importance of our sector to the economy and I am sure it will not be lost even at the highest levels of government.”
“We will continue to work well with Resource Secretary Keith Pitt, and I am sure the new cabinet understands that our industry is doing hard work at a time of great economic uncertainty due to the pandemic.”
Nationals MP Darren Chester, who was dismissed from the Cabinet, attacked Mr. Joyce.
“The conversation I had with Barnaby yesterday was so incoherent that I couldn’t even explain what he was telling me. So folks in Australia, get ready, there will be more such conversations. “