The new NSW cabinet was unveiled by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her deputy John Barilaro on Sunday, March 31.
It will remain largely unchanged at its core and has received a mixed reaction from peak bodies around the state.
The new-look line-up gives a renewed focus to the regions after the countryside swung away from the coalition at the state election.
Andrew Constance will remain in charge of transport and Brad Hazzard will hold on to health but the Nationals’ Paul Toole will take charge of regional transport and roads.
Fellow Nationals Melinda Pavey and Adam Marshall have also been given prominent roles in areas that hurt the Liberal/Nationals coalition on March 23.
Pavey is bringing “fresh eyes” to the water portfolio partly replacing Niall Blair, who stepped away from the regional water portfolio after massive fish kills in the Murray-Darling river system.
Blair announced straight after the election that he would go to the backbench.
Marshall will take the remainder of Blair’s former territory as Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW.
NSW Farmers welcomed Marshall’s appointment, with president James Jackson saying in a statement on Sunday that it comes at a critical time for the agricultural industry.
Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean has been given the newly combined energy and environment portfolio.
While NSW Farmers also welcomed Kean’s appointment, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW pointed out this was the fifth environment minister in eight years.
Along with Ray Williams, former environment minister Gabrielle Upton announced on Saturday she would not seek reappointment in the ministry.
“NSW desperately needs stability, strength and competence in the environment portfolio to ensure nature gets the protections it needs and deserves,” the council’s chief executive Kate Smolski said in a statement on Sunday.
The NSW Business Chamber’s chief executive Stephen Cartwright said Kean will bring a “fresh approach” to the issue of energy reliability and pricing but that it is paramount he consults more regularly with stakeholders in this portfolio.
The cabinet has the right mix of experience and fresh ideas, Cartwright said in a statement.
He welcomed the retention of deputy Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet as treasurer.
Perrottet “has earned the opportunity to continue to manage the state’s finances,” Cartwright said.
In other changes, Rob Stokes has been returned to the planning portfolio in the new cabinet, with development—particularly in Sydney—becoming a major issue.
David Elliott has been made police minister, while Sarah Mitchell takes over from Stokes as Education Minister.
Anthony Roberts moves from planning to the counter terrorism and corrections portfolio, while MP Damien Tudehope has taken on finance.
By Heather McNab and Perry Duffin