Delivering for the millions of Australians who live outside a capital city is top of The Nationals agenda as the Ministry continues its work, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack says.

“For those 8.8 million Australians who live beyond the bright city lights, The Nationals are excited to continue our work delivering the infrastructure, services and representation those people and communities deserve,” Mr McCormack said. “That’s why our Nationals Ministry is focused on the key portfolio areas to help regional communities grow, create local jobs and back our farmers, regional small businesses and families.”

Mr McCormack will continue as Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.

“No matter where you live, The Nationals are investing to get you home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said. “With our record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline in the recent Budget and the National Water Grid to better capture and use water, I am excited to help boost productivity and create local jobs through the Infrastructure portfolio.”

Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie will become Minister for Agriculture, the first female Agriculture Minister in Australia’s history.

“Bridget has been a passionate advocate for farmers and small businesses since she was elected and will bring a great enthusiasm and practicality to her new role,” Mr McCormack said. “With a goal of making Australian agriculture worth $100 billion by 2030, Bridget will be a champion for local jobs and opportunities through agriculture around regional Australia.”

Mark Coulton joins the outer Ministry as Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, while continuing as Assistant Trade Minister.

“Mark’s practical experience as a country Mayor and his time as an advocate for Australian exports as Assistant Trade Minister are the skills which will help our regional health and communications, decentralisation and regional growth agenda, as well as ensuring local government maintains a passionate advocate in Government,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr McCormack praised The Nationals team, saying its practical experience will be an asset in the Ministry.

“From farmers and country mayors to teachers, rural finance experts and even journalists, The Nationals team brings a depth of real-life experience to the Ministry to continue focusing on delivering the things that matter to the more than 8 million Australians who live in the regions,” Mr McCormack said. “With an enormous pool of talent in The Nationals party room – and strong results for our MPs and candidates at the election – I am humbled to lead such a dynamic team to continue to deliver for regional people and their communities in Government for the next three years.”

Mr McCormack thanked Barnaby Joyce for his service as Special Envoy for Drought Assistance and Recovery since August last year.