In an earlier post (New Minister for Emergency Management 12 December 2011) I commented on the fact that responsibility for emergency management had been split from the role of Attorney-General, with the appointment of Robert McLelland as Minister for Emergency Management.  In the latest reshuffle McLelland has been demoted to the back bench and Nicola Roxon has been ‘promoted’ to the role of Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management (See ‘Carr to replace Rudd as foreign minister‘ ABC Online).

As I noted in that earlier post a Minister usually has legislation to administer and specific roles but that was not the case with the new Minister for Emergency Management.  Now that the Attorney-General and the Minister for Emergency Management are once again, one and the same person, it appears we have moved back to the old arrangements even if Ms Roxon has a new title – perhaps the distinction between the old office of the Attorney-General and the new ‘Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Services’ is a distinction without a difference.

Michael Eburn
2 March 2012