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Chester Returns

  • Chester ReturnsDarren Chester at previously opened section between Flynn and Rosedale.

Popular Victorian member returns to Cabinet

Newly installed Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and settled on minimal changes to the ministerial lineup.

Darren Chester, who has been a member of the House of Representatives for Gippsland in Victoria, representing the Nationals since 2008, will be returned to Cabinet as Minister for Veteran Affairs.

Mr Chester was controversially dropped by Mr Joyce last December.

According to theage.com.au:

His removal from cabinet poisoned the relationship with Mr Joyce and saw Mr Chester refuse a consolation prize of an outer-ministry, opting instead to return to the backbench.

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EARLIER: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a cabinet reshuffle creating two new portfolios and replacing several outgoing Ministers.

One of those Minister's is Darren Chester, who has been a member of the House of Representatives for Gippsland in Victoria, representing the Nationals since 2008.

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Attorney-General George Brandis will become Australia’s high commissioner to London in a ministerial reshuffle set to be announced on Tuesday.

Brandis’ appointment opens the way for Malcolm Turnbull to elevate deputy Senate leader Mathias Cormann to Senate leader, and gives the Turnbull a cabinet vacancy.

The Nationals, who appear confident of holding their five cabinet spots despite losing a parliamentary seat to the Liberals, now find themselves with an excess of Victorians in cabinet.

New deputy, Bridget McKenzie, is from Victoria, as is existing cabinet member Darren Chester.

The party has only four federal MPs from that state.

It is speculated that Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, who is agriculture minister, will move to Chester’s infrastructure portfolio in the changes.

The reshuffle also is likely to see the return of former health minister Sussan Ley, who resigned after allegations of the misuse of travel entitlements, which she denied. Turnbull wants to promote women and personally likes Ley.

The reshuffle comes as the government is behind Labor in the 25th consecutive Newspoll. The ALP leads 53-47% on a two-party basis, unchanged from the previous poll.

Turnbull said recently he regretted referring to Tony Abbott losing 30 consecutive Newspolls when he launched his 2015 challenge against the former prime minister.

Abbott replied that he will respond to this Turnbull statement of regret, but he wanted to leave it until after Saturday’s Bennelong byelection.

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Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The Conversation