The NSW Opposition’s full ministry has been announced after a leadership spill in the Nationals Party resulted in Paul Toole being turfed from the top job.
On Tuesday morning, Opposition Leader Mark Speakman and newly-minted Nationals leader Dugald Saunders announced the opposition line-up, after hinting at last minute shifts on Monday afternoon.
This follows a chaotic 24 hours for the Opposition, in which Natalie Ward was elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party on the eve of parliament resuming.
The Nationals were also rocked by a leadership change, with Dugald Saunders replacing Mr Toole.
Mr Toole will retain responsibility of police, however Mr Saunders will be the opposition spokesman for regional NSW.
He will also look after agriculture and natural resources.
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman with Deputy Liberal Party Leader Natalie Ward and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Damien Tudehope. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Jeremy Piper
Mr Speakman acknowledged the “few bumps” which delayed the release of the shadow ministry but said the NSW Coalition was “ready for action”.
“This is a shadow ministry that represents a combination of experience and fresh faces,” he said.
“We have seven new members of shadow ministry who’ve never been in a ministry before and were relying upon the experience and the corporate knowledge of those who have served in many successive and successful coalition governments.”
He also spoke of his shadow ministry’s increase in gender parity, with 42 per cent of the shadow ministry women, which equates to 11 women in the 26-person team.
Dugald Saunders (pictured) has replaced Paul Toole as leader of the NSW Nationals. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Christian Gilles.
Mr Saunders said the rebuilt Coalition was ready to “do our job”.
“Our job is to fight hard for NSW, whether it be in metropolitan areas, or for me as the leader of the Nats focusing on regional areas,” he said.
“We will do it with determination and with grace and we will be looking to hold the government to account on all of the things they are or are not doing.”
Among the newly announced shadow ministry is Miranda MP Eleni Petinos, who faced accusations of bullying and was stripped of her portfolios under the Perrottet government in 2019, has also returned as the opposition spokesman for finance and sport.
Questioned about her past controversies, Mr Speakman defended the choice.
“I think she’ll make a major contribution to public life in NSW,” he said.
“All of us learn life lessons as we go through life, with ups and downs, and I think Eleni, like everyone will take on board those lessons.”
Mr Tool has also maintained the portfolio for police, which Mr Saunders said “he wanted to have”.
“I did ask him if he would be prepared or was happy to serve as a shadow minister. He thought about it and said: ‘yes,’” said Mr Saunders.
First time Vaucluse MP Kellie Sloan has also been given environment portfolio.
Paul Toole will remain as opposition spokesman for police. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Gaye Gerard
The Coalition Shadow Ministry
Mark Speakman – Opposition Leader, Leader of the Liberals
Dugald Saunders – Regional NSW, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Leader of the Nationals
Natalie Ward – Transport and Roads, Infrastructure, Illawarra and South Coast, Deputy Leader of the Liberals
Bronnie Taylor – Regional Health, Trade, Seniors, Deputy Leader of the Nationals
Damien Tudehope – Shadow Treasurer, Industrial Relations, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council
Mr Speakman said the new shadow ministry had increased their female representation to 42 per cent. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Jeremy Piper,
Sarah Mitchell – Education and Early Learning, Western NSW, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council
Robyn Preston – Mental Health and Medical Research, Veterans Deputy Leader of the Liberals in the Legislative Assembly
Alister Henskens – Shadow Attorney-General, Shadow Special Minister of State, Manager of Opposition Business in the Legislative Assembly
Matt Kean – Health
Natasha Maclaren-Jones – Families and Communities, Disability Inclusion, Homelessness, Youth
Sam Farraway – Regional Transport and Roads
Scott Farlow – Planning and Public Spaces, Housing, Cities, Hunter and the Central Coast
James Griffin – Energy and Climate Change, Customer Service and Digital Government
Mark Coure – Multiculturalism, Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and
Technology, and southwestern Sydney
Paul Toole – Police
Leslie Williams – Women, Prevention of Domestic Violence and
Sexual Assault, and Aboriginal Affairs
Wendy Tuckerman – Local Government, Small Business
Eleni Petinos – Finance, and Sport
Eleni Petinos will look after the finance and sport portfolios. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Jeremy Piper
Kevin Anderson – Gaming and Racing, and Arts and Heritage
Kellie Sloane – Environment
Justin Clancy – Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education
Mark Taylor – Corrections, Western Sydney
Gurmesh Singh MP Shadow Minister for Tourism, Emergency Services, North Coast
Tim James – Fair Trading, Work Health and Safety and Building
Steph Cooke – Water, Crown Lands
Aileen MacDonald – Youth Justice