McCormack backers promoted in PM’s new look cabinet
OUTSPOKEN Queensland LNP MP Keith Pitt has been promoted to Cabinet, as Resources, Water and Northern Australia minister, among the mini reshuffle announced this morning following the damaging spill and sports grant scandal.
The reshuffle sees several key backers of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack promoted.
Mr Pitt will be joined by Victorian Darren Chester who has been made a Cabinet Minister while retaining Veterans Affairs.
It is the first time the portfolio has been within Cabinet.
Recently-appointed deputy Nationals leader and Maranoa MP David Littleproud will keep drought and emergency management, gain the senior appointment of agriculture but loses water.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry remains minister for children and families, but will also be assistant minister for Northern Australia.
Mark Coulton from NSW as minister for regional health, regional communications and local government, Andrew Gee takes on regional education, decentralisation and assistant minister for trade and investment.
Kevin Hogan is promoted to the frontbench as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
They replace Bridget McKenzie, who resigned on Sunday after she was found to have breached Ministerial standards over the sports grants scandal, and Queensland Senator Matt Canavan who resigned to back Barnaby Joyce in Tuesday's spill motion.
Mr Joyce failed in a leadership challenge against Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
While this is Mr Pitt's first Cabinet appointment, he has previously served on the front bench on three occasions, as assistant trade and tourism minister as well as twice as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
He was dropped from the frontbench by Mr Joyce, then Deputy Prime Minister, in December 2017 in a controversial reshuffle.
Mr McCormack praised the two promoted Queensland Ministers.
"Keith is very, very capable," he said.
"He has a wide range of experience. I have every confidence he will do a great job.
"You won't find a stronger champion than Michelle Landry, other than Keith Pitt, for Northern Australia."