Turnbull forced to shake the Cabinet after 3 ministers quit
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reshuffled Cabinet and the outer ministry in an effort to "revitalise" his government ahead of the coming election.
Mr Turnbull announced the long-awaited changes on Saturday afternoon, following Fisher MP Mal Brough resigning the post he stood aside from, due to an ongoing investigation into his role in the downfall for former Speaker Peter Slipper.
New Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce will become Deputy Prime Minister retaining agriculture and water resources.
Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash will be elevated to Cabinet, adding Regional Development and Regional Communications to her existing role as Rural Health Minister.
Queensland Liberal Steven Ciobo was one big winner, rising from the outer ministry to fill outgoing Trade Minister Andrew Robb's shoes.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Robb would be retained as a "special envoy" for trade, to help Mr Ciobo adjust to the new role ahead of Mr Robb's retirement at the 2016 election.
Nationals MP Darren Chester will take over outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss' portfolio of infrastructure and transport.
Liberals Alan Tudge, Dan Tehan and Senator Scott Ryan would be brought into the Cabinet, with Mr Tudge taking over Human Services, Mr Tehan as Minister controlling the Defence Materiel Organisation and Veterans Services and Sen Ryan taking Vocational Education and Skills.
Demoted from the frontbench, and after losing a bid for Deputy Nationals Leader this week was Luke Hartsuyker.
Current Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells would be elevated to the role of Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Hartsuyker was not nominated for Cabinet by the new Nationals leadership team.
Queensland Nationals Senator Matt Canavan will be Minister for Northern Australia, while Hinkler MP Keith Pitt would be elevated to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister to Mr Joyce.
Others elevated to the outer ministry included Jane Prentice, Craig Laundy, Angus Taylor, Dr Peter Hendy and Senator James McGrath.
Overall, the reshuffle brings to six the number of women in Cabinet, with 10 women in the 22-member executive, including four Nationals.
Existing ministers such as Scott Morrison, George Brandis, Greg Hunt, Julie Bishop, Mitch Fifield and others would retain their existing roles.
Mr Turnbull said the new ministry would be sworn-in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra Thursday next week.