Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Did Canavan survive Nationals' ministry reshuffle?

Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce during Question Time with his eyes closed and resting on his hand Did Canavan survive Nationals' ministry reshuffle?
Patty Aguilar | 02 March, 2018, 21:56

Two Nationals who were key supporters of new Nationals leader Michael McCormack are set to return to the front bench.

Keith Pitt, who was also demoted to the backbench in Mr Joyce's controversial reshuffle, will now be assistant minister to the deputy prime minister.

Nearly three months after he was sensationally dumped from the junior ministry, Keith Pitt is back on the frontbench while the man who demoted him languishes on the backbench.

Chester, who was dumped by Joyce from cabinet late past year, returns to a more junior position in the ministry as minister for veterans' affairs, minister for defence personnel and minister assisting for the centenary of Anzac. He said the refresh had been agreed with the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

In his first major decision as Deputy Prime Minister, Mr McCormack named former cabinet minister Darren Chester and former assistant minister Keith Pitt to the frontbench in a "minimal" reshuffle.

David Gillespie, who telegraphed interest in running against McCormack as party leader before dropping out of the race, also continues in his role as assistant minister for children and families.

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"Infrastructure and transport are critical areas for all Australians including regional Australians".

Victorian Darren Chester will take over the veterans affairs portfolio, which Mr McCormack is vacating to take up infrastructure and transport.

Bridget McKenzie, the party's deputy leader, will continue on as minister for rural health, minister for sport and minister for regional communications. Senator Nigel Scullion is Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate.

Agriculture and Water Minister David Littleproud, who considered contesting the leadership before withdrawing from the race, retains his cabinet position after a shock promotion past year.

Senator Matt Canavan is still walking tall in his top level role in the Coalition Government.

"We have exciting projects for Central Queensland to get behind, like Rookwood Weir, Adani jobs and better roads".

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