FLANKED by his wife and daughters, Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce took his oath and signed off on his agreement to help lead the nation once again.
The Deputy Prime Minister was sworn in by Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, in a ceremony at Canberra’s Government House, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his coalition colleagues on Tuesday.
It was a brief affair, but the National Party leader appeared relieved to get on with the job after a tough eight-week election campaign and the uncertainty of a hung parliament swept under the rug.
Mr Joyce was also sworn in as the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources after he opted to retain his two portfolios from the previous term of Government, something he said he was pleased to be able to do.
“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to serve a second term as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. I will continue to put agriculture in a prominent position on our national agenda, where it belongs, and work to position the sector for a strong and prosperous future.
“I congratulate those members and senators, who will either retain their existing ministries, or who will take on new portfolio responsibilities.
“I especially congratulate Deputy Nationals Leader, Senator Fiona Nash, on her new-look portfolio of Regional Development, Local Government and Territories.”
Mr Joyce has a new look team behind him. The Nationals boast another role in the new coalition ministry, with a fifth cabinet minister joining the frontbench team of nine.
In a fresh development, the regional member will be assisted in his deputy prime ministerial duties by Cowper Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker, who he described as “talented and experienced.”
“I also welcome the elevation of Dr David Gillespie, as Assistant Minister for Rural Health. Dr Gillespie’s vast experience will inject real life experience into this important portfolio,” Mr Joyce said.