On the retirement of our Federal Leader Warren Truss and the consequent appointment of Barnaby Joyce as Leader and Fiona Nash as Deputy, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was tasked with updating his cabinet. An extra cabinet position for The Nationals amidst a thorough reshuffle of the deck has placed us in an excellent position to serve our regions.
While Barnaby retains his role as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, our new Deputy Fiona Nash has been given an additional two portfolios on top of Rural Health. Of her two new roles as Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Regional Development, Fiona said:
“Delivering infrastructure, attracting more health professionals and enhancing digital communication services for regional communities will be my focus in these important portfolios.”
Senator Nigel Scullion, Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, will continue his good work in Indigenous Affairs, a portfolio that complements Fiona’s Rural Health portfolio and ensures the needs of our indigenous communities in the regions are met.
Darren Chester, Member for Gippsland in Victoria, has been appointed Minister for Infrastructure and Transport a role previously held by Warren Truss. With Barnaby’s continuing role in Agriculture, Darren becomes the fourth member of The Nationals in Turnbull’s Cabinet.
Our very own Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has also received a new job in the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Defence. The presence of army, air force and naval facilities in the Riverina has provided Michael with a solid understanding in Australia’s defence capabilities:
“With all three arms of Defence located in the Riverina Electorate and Kapooka being the Home of the Soldier, I am looking forward to making a positive contribution in the Defence portfolio.”