Gladys Berejiklian Defends Four Female Ministers In Revamped Cabinet
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has defended the number of female ministers in her revamped Cabinet, saying she is proud of the new women "coming through the ranks".
Four other women appear in the new Cabinet announced by Berejiklian on Sunday, one week after she was elected.
Melinda Pavey will look after the newly announced water, property and housing portfolio, Sarah Mitchell will take over from Rob Stokes as Education Minister, and Shelley Hancock and Bronwyn Taylor will act as Minister for Local Government and Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women -- another new portfolio.
With one less female minister than the previous ministry, the NSW Premier defended her Party from accusations it has a problem with women.
"I'm really excited for what the future means for all members of Parliament, including women," she said.
Berejiklian said she was proud of the new women "coming through the ranks", particularly those she promoted as parliamentary secretaries -- a mid-tier position appointed to assist cabinet ministers.
"We have at least three new women coming through as parliamentary secretaries from the Liberal Party and the National Party has some as well," she said.
"There is a lot of potential there for the future, and I think both the Deputy Premier and I have been spoilt for choice."
The Liberal Party has for some time been plagued with issues such as female representation and bullying within its ranks.
Berejiklian said she was "excited" by the six new members elected to Parliament, three of whom are women.
"There’s a long way to go but I’m pleased with the progress we are making," she said.
The Berejiklian cabinet includes some strategic appointments to drive her government's policy on environment and social reform, particularly in the regions, following a swing away from the Coalition at the state election.
The Nationals' Paul Toole will take charge of regional transport and roads while Melinda Pavey will bring "fresh eyes" to the water portfolio, replacing Niall Blair.
Fellow Nationals MP Bronwyn Taylor's newly-announced mental health, regional youth and women portfolio is part of Berejiklian's aim to "deliver better outcomes for the most vulnerable ... no matter their background or where they live".
In other changes, Rob Stokes has been returned to the planning portfolio -- moving Anthony Roberts into counter terrorism and corrections -- while David Elliott has been made police minister.
Deputy Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet remains as treasurer, while Andrew Constance is staying on as transport minister.
Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean has been given the newly combined energy and environment portfolio while MP Damien Tudehope has taken on finance.
Two MPs, Gabrielle Upton and Ray Williams, announced on Saturday they would not seek reappointment.
The new Cabinet will be sworn in at Government House on Tuesday.
Featured image: AAP