/ 28 June 2021

Joyce puts his stamp on the ministry

New leader, new frontbench line up… And Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce 2.0 has put an old lens on his picks with longtime supporters rewarded with big new jobs. Senator Bridget McKenzie is back in Cabinet following her demotion last year over the sports grants scandal. She is about all things regional as the Minister for Regionalisation (who knew that was a word…), Regional Communications and Regional Education. Also on the up is NSW north coast MP Dr David Gillespie, who becomes Minister for Regional Health, and Queensland senator Susan McDonald as envoy for Northern Australia. Demoted is Keith Pitt, who retains Resources and Water but is out of Cabinet. Sliding down the greasy pole is Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester – he’s replaced by Andrew Gee just as a Royal Commission into suicide in the veteran community kicks off… And Mark Coulton has lost his role as Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government. As for former leader Michael McCormack – he’ll cool his jets on the backbench.

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