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2 Sep 2018

David Coleman was sworn in by the Governor-General as the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs on Tuesday in Canberra.

In a significant reshuffle, Immigration portfolio which falls under the Department of Home Affairs was taken away from Peter Dutton. Instead, it was clubbed with Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, formerly assigned to Alan Tudge, and given to David Coleman.

But who is David Coleman?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the new immigration minister has a ‘keen understanding of many different backgrounds’ required, to give them a ‘fair go’.

“David has a keen understanding of the many different backgrounds and the many different issues that need to be managed to ensure that Australians who have come from so many backgrounds get that fair go I spoke of,” he said on David Coleman’s appointment.

The 44-year-old MP served as an assistant finance minister in the Turnbull Government and was first elected to the House of Representatives for Banks, New South Wales, in 2013.

He was re-elected in 2016 and represents a relatively diverse electorate, whose population is 44% overseas-born, with people of Chinese ancestry being the largest migrant group. 

He studied law at University of New South Wales (UNSW), worked as a Business Analyst for McKinsey and Co and served in senior roles at media and internet companies before he plunged into politics.

In his first speech to the Parliament in November 2013, Mr Coleman said people are not defined by race or religion but by values.

“People in Banks are defined not by race or religion but by values. All that matters in Banks is that you play by the rules of Australia. Wherever you were born, the responsibility of all of us is the same. That responsibility is to live within our laws and to embrace our values. That is what the people of Banks believe; that is what I believe,” he told the Parliament.

As an assistant minister of finance in the Turnbull government, Mr Coleman has passionately defended the tax cuts for individuals proposed in the recent budget, however, as Australia’s new immigration and citizenship minister; he is yet to share his thoughts on the government’s plans on immigration and citizenship backlog.

Mr Coleman said he was not yet in a position to comment on the policy, having only just been sworn in when asked about government’s plans to send new migrants to regional areas before they can move to big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

The matter, which was due to go to cabinet before the Liberal leadership spill, is yet to be considered by the new team.

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