The New South Wales Premier has promoted one more woman to cabinet, as Dominic Perrottet establishes his team to take to the 2023 state election.
- Seven of the 26 cabinet ministers will be women, one more than under Gladys Berejiklian’s leadership
- Brad Hazzard has retained the health portfolio, while Deputy Nationals Leader Bronnie Taylor keeps mental health
- A major reshuffle will see a number of MPs depart cabinet and nine first-time ministers appointed
After more than two months in the job, Mr Perrottet has decided on a major reshuffle of cabinet – installing nine first-time ministers.
As the state grapples with escalating COVID-19 cases because of the Omicron strain, Brad Hazzard has been asked to stay on as Health Minister.
The Liberals have handed over the police portfolio to the Nationals, which will be taken on by the new Deputy Premier Paul Toole.
The Nationals will also retain the education portfolio and Sarah Mitchell will keep the senior position.
The former police minister David Elliott will become the transport minister, at a time when the Government faces several problems with trams and ferries as well as threats of ongoing rail strikes.
The most senior woman in government, Nationals Deputy Leader Bronnie Taylor retains the role of Minister Women and Mental Health and also adds a newly established ministry of regional health.
Liberal Upper House MP Natalie Ward stays in the ministry but has switched from the sport, multiculturalism, seniors and veterans portfolios to take on metropolitan roads and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence.
Women make up about a quarter of cabinet roles
There have been three new Liberal women promoted to cabinet.
Upper House MP Natasha Maclaren-Jones becomes the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Miranda MP Eleni Petinos will be the Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman the Local Government Minister.
The first-term MP Ms Tuckerman replaces Shelley Hancock, who released a statement saying she asked not to be reappointed to cabinet.
Nationals MP Melinda Pavey has been dumped from cabinet and replaced by the member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, who will be the Minister for Emergency Services.
In a statement released on Saturday, Ms Pavey addressed her dumping from Cabinet.
“While I am disappointed, I respect the decision made,” she said.
She also added that she is the “longest serving National Party MP in Australia”.
There are now seven women in the Perrottet Government’s 26-person cabinet.
There were six women in Gladys Berejiklian’s when she resigned, including herself.
“Four of our new ministers are women, and their presence around the cabinet table will make our government better,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Each one of them has worked tirelessly to earn their position, I know they will continue to deliver for the people of NSW in their new roles.”
New ministries established
The Premier has also created new ministries including a cities portfolio, to implement the six cities strategy across Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong, which will be taken on by former planning minister Rob Stokes.
Anthony Roberts will make a return to the planning portfolio and will also become the Minister for Roads, a new ministry.
Manly MP James Griffin, Oatley MP Mark Coure, Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders and Upper House National MPs Sam Farraway and Ben Franklin have been appointed to cabinet for the first time.
“This is the best team to lead NSW out of the pandemic and then take it to the next level, and we will work hard every day to serve the people of our great state,” the Premier said.
“The new ministry harnesses experience, while allowing for renewal and injecting fresh energy into the team.”
Liberal MP Don Harwin and Nationals MP Adam Marshall are the other Ministers from Gladys Berejiklian’s government who are not returning to cabinet.