Following the appointment of new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Nationals’ roles in the Ministry became subject to change. Days after signing a new coalition agreement, we secured new roles in the Turnbull Ministry. Nearly all NSW Nationals experienced changes to their roles, but our voice remains as strong as ever.
In a long sought-after move, the Water Portfolio has been removed from the Environment Ministry and has been placed in the hands of Barnaby Joyce. His title is now Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. With this new role, Barnaby will be tasked with finding the delicate balance of water management for agriculture and the environment. The Murray Darling Basin Authority will also be part of Barnaby’s new responsibilities.
Fiona Nash, Senator for NSW, previously the Assistant Minister for Health, has been appointed the Minister for Rural Health. This is a new portfolio, and with Fiona’s lengthy experience in the Health Ministry, the area will undoubtedly see many positive developments.
Stepping in to assist our Leader Warren Truss with his portfolio of Infrastructure and Regional Development is Michael McCormack, Member for Riverina. Under Tony Abbott, Michael was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance. Michael is very excited about working alongside Warren, especially given the increased spend on regional infrastructure during the past two years in government.
Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has also experienced changes to his role. Luke has retained his position as Deputy Leader of the House, and been promoted from Assistant Minister for Employment to Minister for Vocational Education and Skills. Improved vocational training is an issue Luke has spoken on previously. He believes that the “further education and training of Australians is vital to the productivity of our nation and improves the prospects of those wishing to enter the workforce…”