Newly reinstated Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has reshuffled the cabinet and promoted his supporters in the process.
Mr Joyce, who was elected as the party leader last week during a leadership spill against Michael McCormack, will take on infrastructure, transport and regional development.
Bridget McKenzie returns to the frontbench after being forced to quit during the sports rorts saga.
Senator McKenzie will take on the portfolios of regionalisation, regional communications and regional education.
She will also pick up duties for drought and emergency management, which was previously the responsibility of deputy leader David Littleproud.
“She will have a clear focus on service delivery in regional Australia and be responsible for the continued work developing Australia’s disaster management capability,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Sunday.
Mr Littleproud keeps agriculture and gains the Northern Australia role.
“Minister Littleproud has been the driving force behind securing a strong and competitive future for our agricultural sector,” Mr Morrison said.
Meanwhile, Darren Chester has lost veterans’ affairs and defence personnel, with NSW MP Andrew Gee taking on the responsibilities.
Mark Coulton has also been dumped as minister for regional health, regional communications and local government.
Keith Pitt will keep his portfolios of water and resources in the outer ministry.
David Gillespie will take on regional health and be deputy leader of the house, while Queensland senator Susan McDonald will become envoy for Northern Australia.
Kevin Hogan will serve as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, and as assistant minister for local government.
Michelle Landry will continue to serve as assistant minister for children and families.
Senator Susan McDonald will take on the role of envoy for Northern Australia.
“These changes will provide the strongest female representation in an Australian government cabinet on record,” Mr Morrison said.
The Prime Minister also thanked Mr McCormack for his “selfless and dedicated service to Australia” and is “tireless efforts” as a minister.
He further thanked Mr Chester, Mr Pitt and Mr Coulton for their service.
The Prime Minister said the new frontbench would likely be sworn in on Friday.
“The Liberal-National coalition has been a successful and enduring partnership for seven decades,” Mr Morrison said.
“The Deputy Prime Minister and I will continue this strong partnership, one based on shared values and a shared vision for building an even stronger Australia.
“Our focus remains on two outcomes – protecting lives and protecting livelihoods, as we continue to combat Covid-19 and build on the economic recovery that has led to the creation of almost one million jobs since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.”