With the Parliamentary year in full swing with PM announcements and landmark Labor speeches, Nexus returns with the second instalment of the political matchups.

This week let us showcase the next Coalition and Opposition members to go head-to-head in the reshuffle. Which contenders seem evenly matched? Who will be the underdog to provide a real fight against the current champions?

The Nexus team will let you decide for yourself as the next contestants step up into the ring and go head-to-head.

ROUND 4: Energy Portfolio – The Hon Angus Taylor MP vs The Hon Chris Bowen MP

The Hon Angus Taylor MP – Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction


Elected to the House of Representatives in 2013, Minister Taylor has almost 7 years of Parliamentary experience under his belt. Taylor has held a range of ministerial positions from Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation (2016-2017) to Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity. (2017-2018). He also served as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Treaties from 2015 to 2016.


Minister Taylor was appointed as Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction in May 2019 after serving in the Energy portfolio since August 2018. On entering Parliament, he called for an overhaul of the Renewable Energy Target, which the Liberal Party was supporting at the time. Whilst Taylor does see the necessity of reducing emissions, he has vocally criticised the use of many renewable energy projects – primarily wind power – given their inefficient nature in comparison to traditional power sources.

Instead, Minister Taylor proposes using more cost-effective carbon reduction methods like natural gases. During the beginning of his ministerial appointment, Minister Taylor focused on renewable energy’s pricing and reliability and following his National Press Club Address in 2020, he has since renewed this interest, announcing the Low Emissions Technology Statement, the Government’s roadmap to better utilising mature renewable energy technologies.


Taylor’s authority and political pull put him in a considerable seniority position within the Liberal Party.

The Hon Chris Bowen MP – Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy


Mr Bowen has over 20 years of experience in the Federal Parliament. He was elected to represent the seat of Prospect, NSW in 2004 and then to the seat of McMahon in 2010 following an electoral redistribution.

Mr Bowen has held numerous ministerial positions over the years, including Treasurer (2013), Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2010-2013), and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research (2013). Bowen has also been a dedicated Shadow Treasurer (2013-2019), Shadow Minister for Small Business (2018-2019), and Shadow Minister for Health (2019-2021).


As Mr Bowen with most portfolios, he is likely to take an economic-focussed approach to his new Climate Change and Energy responsibilities. However, Mr Bowen’s first press release as the new Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy also highlighted his experience in the health portfolio, saying ‘I will continue to work with the [energy] sector on what the World Health Organisation has described as the defining health threat of the 21st Century – climate change’.

Mr Bowen track record on climate change related policy has closely reflected Labor’s stance on the issues. This has seen Mr Bowen vote against the removal of the Carbon Tax (2013) and against the repeal of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (2014). He also voted for the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill (2011) and for treating government action on climate change as a matter of urgency (2019).


Mr Bowen has maintained a senior position in the Labor Party for most of his political career. After Kevin Rudd’s resignation in 2013, Mr Bowen was appointed the Labor Party’s Interim Leader, although he did not stand against Bill Shorten in the October leadership vote. Despite this, Mr Shorten appointed Mr Bowen, a factional ally, becoming Shadow Treasurer .

When Mr Shorten announced his resignation as the party leader in 2019, Bowen was considered a frontrunner to succeed him. On the 21st of May, Mr Bowen announced his candidacy in the leadership ballot but withdrew the following day.  He remains a senior national figure in the Labor Party.

ROUND 5: Industry Portfolio – The Hon Karen Andrews MP vs The Hon Ed Husic MP

The Hon Karen Andrews MP – Minister for Industry, Science and Technology


Andrews was elected to represent McPherson, Queensland, in the House of Representatives in 2010. She was appointed Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills from 2016 to 2018. Andrews has been a cabinet minister since 2018.


Since her election 10 years ago, Andrews has held a range of positions that have given her excellent experience in the Industry, Science and Technology portfolio. She has previously held the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science (2014-2015) and Assistant Minister for Science (2015-2016). Andrews has been the Minister for Industry Science and Technology since 2018.


As one of the most senior liberal women in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister draws on Minister Andrew’s experience as an engineer to shape the Coalition’s policy on Industry, Science and Technology.

In addition, Minister Andrews will be responsible for the roll out of the Prime Minister’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which was announced by the Prime Minister in October 2020. The strategy aims to re-establish Australia as a high-quality and sustainable manufacturing nation in order to assist with the economy’s recovery.

To this end, Minister Andrews was announced as a member of the Policy Implementation Committee of Cabinet in November 2020.

The Hon Ed Husic MP – Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation


Husic has represented the seat of Chiefly, New South Wales, since his election to Federal Parliament in 2010.  From July to September 2019, he worked as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Broadband.

He was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation, and Future of Work (2016-2018). Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy (2018-2019) and Shadow Minister for Human Services (2018-2019).


On the 28th of January 2021, Mr Husic was appointed Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation. Throughout his parliamentary career, Husic has been a big advocate for improving and expanding Australia’s technology industry. In 2014, he called for a parliamentary investigation into the ‘Australia Tax’ and the higher prices of goods and services in Australia than equivalent costs in comparative overseas nations.


Mr Husic is considered to be one of the most consistent performers from the ALP Right. However, he is behind colleagues the Hon Chris Bowen MP and the Hon Jason Clare MP, both of which were elected before Mr Husic in 2004 and 2007 respectively and have held Cabinet portfolios during Labor’s years in power between 2007 and 2013.

Despite this, Mr Husic has always been highly rated for his communication style and approach, which has yielded him praise from colleagues and opponents alike. This has seen his stature rise within Labor, even after stepping aside from the Shadow Ministry to make room for NSW Senator, Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally, following the 2019 election defeat.  In fact this set back actually improved his standing with colleagues and stakeholders.

ROUND 6: Agriculture Portfolio – The Hon David Littleproud MP vs The Hon Julie Collins MP

The Hon David Littleproud MP – Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management


Littleproud has over 4 years of experience in federal politics after his election to the seat of Maranoa, Queensland, in 2016.


Littleproud became a cabinet minister in 2017 when he served as the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources until 2019. He was then appointed Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Drought Preparation and Response (2018-2019) and Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (2019-2020).

Littleproud has been serving as Minister for Agriculture, Drought, and Emergency Management since February 2020. In 2018, Littleproud struck a deal with Labor that secured 36 environmental water savings projects and the 70GL recovery reduction for Northern Basin farmers, which had previously been disallowed. Littleproud’s negotiation effectively resurrected the Murray-Darling Basin Plan by reassuring Basin states the Plan would be fulfilled as agreed in 2012.


Elected as Deputy Leader of the Nationals in 2020, Littleproud has risen to a significant authority position in his party in only a few years.

The Hon Julie Collins MP – Shadow Minister for Agriculture


Collins was elected to the House of Representatives for Franklin, Tasmania, in 2007.

Collins previously served as the Minister for the Status of Women (2001-2013) and the Minister for Housing and Homelessness (2013). She has also held numerous shadow ministerial roles, including Shadow Minister for Employment Services (2013-2016), Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health (2016-2019), Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors (2019-2021), and Shadow Minister for Women (2019-2021).


Collins was appointed as Shadow Minister for Agriculture in January 2021. She worked as the Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Local Government from 2013-2016.

In addition, as the Member for Franklin, Ms Collins has a number of primary producers within her electorate and is familiar with the issues that affect the agriculture industry. Ms Collins is also considered to be close to the Member for Lyons, Mr Brian Mitchell MP, who heads up Labor’s Country Caucus, the primary committee which steers regional-based portfolios, such as agriculture, within the Labor Party.


Ms Collins is a prominent member of Labor’s left faction and aligns with the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, with Ms Collins being one of the first MPs to back him publicly following Labor’s election defeat in 2019.

Ms Collins also is quite strong with her Tasmanian colleagues, and as the most senior Tasmanian Labor MP or Senator, is viewed to be one of the Opposition Leader’s primary advisers on Tasmanian issues, along with Senator Carol Brown in her capacity as Shadow Assistant Minister for Tasmania.