Following Warren Truss’ retirement as Leader of The Nationals and other movements in the Coalition Government over the past few weeks, the Turnbull Government Ministry has now been sworn in at Government House in Canberra.
These changes have resulted in some significant milestones for The Nationals including a brand new leadership team which, for the first time in the party’s history includes a woman, and a much anticipated fourth spot in the Federal cabinet.
I congratulate the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP on his election as Leader of The Nationals and his subsequent ministerial appointment as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
I also congratulate Senator the Hon Fiona Nash on her election as Deputy Leader of The Nationals. Senator Nash was also sworn in as Minister for Rural Health, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Regional Communications.
It is great news for rural and regional Australia that Senator Nash will occupy a position in the cabinet holding these three key portfolios. The Government’s key policy making happens through the Cabinet and it is crucial that The Nationals have as many voices as possible in the Cabinet room fighting for the needs of everyone out here.
In addition it is important that The Nationals retained the key portfolio of Infrastructure and Transport with my Victorian colleague, the Hon Darren Chester MP moving into this Cabinet position.
I was also very pleased that Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion retained the Indigenous Affairs portfolio in the ministerial reshuffle.
I look forward to meeting with my colleagues in their new positions in the coming weeks to ensure that the priorities of the Federal electorate of Parkes are heard.
There has been some local interest in the 15 Year Australian Infrastructure Plan that was announced by Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
I think it is important to note that the Australian Infrastructure Plan has been released by an organisation called Infrastructure Australia. This organisation is an independent statutory body with a board of recognised industry experts.
Infrastructure Australia has a mandate to advise government on nationally significant infrastructure, including a 15 year rolling Infrastructure Plan to specify national priorities.
The Australian Infrastructure Plan is the first long-term national infrastructure plan, based on a top down audit of the nation’s assets, developed in the nation’s history.
The plan includes an Infrastructure Priority List of more than 90 infrastructure projects or initiatives spread all around Australia.
The Infrastructure Priority List will be a key tool as the Commonwealth Government and State and Territory Governments consider which projects to progress, and over time which ones will be funded.
From here, the Coalition Government will carefully consider the recommendations, and have regard to public debate, before announcing the government’s response in due course.
A copy of the Australian Infrastructure Plan and the Infrastructure Priority List is available at http://infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/policy-publications/publications/Australian-Infrastructure-Plan.aspx
If you would like to let me know what you think of the plan and priority list, please send me an email to email@example.com