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South Australian Senator to replace Cormann in powerful Finance post


South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham will become Finance Minister in the Morrison Government within weeks, replacing the retiring Matthias Cormann who will be Australia’s nomination for secretary-general of the Paris-based OECD.

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Birmingham will take up the powerful post when West Australian senator Cormann leaves Parliament on October 30.

Cormann has been Finance Minister since the Coalition came to power in 2013.

Birmingham, 46, will also take on Cormann’s role as government Senate leader, adding the extra demands to his ongoing Trade portfolio.

Birmingham, who leads the moderate Liberal faction in South Australia, entered the Senate in 2007 and is the most senior federal SA Liberal, with former Defence Minister and fellow moderate Christopher Pyne leaving politics in 2019.

He will be the first South Australian to serve as Finance Minister since Nick Minchin, who held the portfolio from 2001-07 under Prime Minister John Howard.

As Finance Minister, Birmingham will oversee Government Business Enterprises including Adelaide-based ASC, Australian Naval Infrastructure and Australia Post.

Michaelia Cash will assume Birmingham’s current role of deputy government Senate leader, with a wider Morrison ministry reshuffle to occur after parliament rises for the year on December 10.

Belgium-born Cormann was due to retire at the end of the year, but that has been brought forward to the end of October so he can begin his bid for the OECD.

“I can think of no finer candidate that Australia can put forward with his experience, with his skills,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.

Cormann will leave for Europe next month to begin campaigning for OECD leadership

“The OECD is without any doubt one of the most consequential international economic policy and governance bodies in the world today,” he said.

“Through its work over the past six decades, it makes a difference to the lives, the daily lives, of billions of people all around the world.”

-with AAP

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