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Minister Chester, no more

A quick look at the history of this Minister, who is in charge of aviation within his portfolio shows a Minister who last October [2016] admitted he did not understand aviation to ABC’s Fran Kelly. 

A Minister who excludes, with able assistance from his CEO of the regulator [#casa], key aviation industry participants from the aviation dialogue and failed to rein in a burgeoning expenditure by #casa.

A Minister who fails to answer questions.

A minister who fails to answer FOI requests for #PelAir.

A Minister who failed for 34 days to own up to an accident involving a charter operator in West Sale who the Minister regularly uses.

And the nastiness that has been overseen by this Minister must stop.

A Minister with a glass chin. 


Gippsland Times

Chester dumped from cabinet

Object Name: darren dumped Rating: Category: Copyright: Byline: Credit: Alex Ford Headline: Gippsland MHR, and former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester.

Object Name: darren dumped Rating: Category: Copyright: Byline: Credit: Alex Ford Headline: Gippsland MHR, and former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced a reshuffle of the federal ministry, with Mr Chester losing his role as the Infrastructure and Transport Minister.

The infrastructure and transport portfolio will be taken over by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

According to The Age, the decision to dump Mr Chester and junior minister Keith Pitt were a surprise to some in the Nationals party room, and interpreted by several MPs as political payback by the Deputy Prime Minister. Both men backed in Senator Bridget McKenzie in the recent contest for Nationals deputy leader, rather than Mr Joyce’s pick of Senator Matt Canavan.

Senator McKenzie’s win in the ballot for the deputy leadership moved her into the cabinet.

“It has been an enormous honour and a privilege to serve in Cabinet in the best portfolio possible, infrastructure and transport. Over the past two years, I’ve been part of policy and project decisions which will change lives and save lives across our nation,” Mr Chester said.

“I’m proud of the work my team and I have done on behalf of the government and I’m sorry we won’t get to finish some of the jobs we’ve started.

“Naturally, I’m disappointed by the leader of the Nationals’ decision to exclude me from his cabinet team. Politics can be a tough business for all involved.

But life goes on and I will continue to support the Turnbull government. We need to work together as a strong and united team and I will continue to demonstrate the loyalty and professionalism that is required for us to deliver the government that Australians deserve.”

Now a backbencher, Mr Chester said he was looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Gippsland with “passion, enthusiasm and determination for many years to come”.

More details in Friday’s Gippsland Times.

 Darren Chester dumped in cabinet reshuffle

  • Australian Associated Press
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Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester has been dumped in a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle by Malcolm Turnbull, making way for little-known Queensland backbenchers.

The prime minister on Tuesday confirmed Attorney-General George Brandis is standing down and will head to London to take over as UK High Commissioner.

West Australian Christian Porter will take his place as attorney-general, with Michaelia Cash promoted to become the new Minister for Jobs and Innovation.

First-term Queensland Nationals MP David Littleproud has been parachuted straight into cabinet to oversee the agriculture portfolio.

His colleague John McVeigh – a former Newman state government minister – joins him to look after regional development and local government.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce takes Mr Chester’s portfolio of infrastructure and transport, with his new deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie assuming responsibility for sport, rural health and regional communications.

Mr Chester said politics could be a tough business and described the experience of being dumped as “character building”.

Mr Joyce had offered him an assistant ministry but he turned it down.

“Naturally, I’m disappointed by the leader of the Nationals’ decision to exclude me from his cabinet team,” Mr Chester said.

“But life goes on and I will continue to support the Turnbull government.”

The prime minister thanked Mr Chester and said cabinet would continue to call on his wisdom.

“It’s a ministry that showcases the depth of the Liberal and National team, with well-earned promotions for talented individuals, and a number of young and upcoming MPs bringing new skills and energy to the frontbench,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

He later said the composition of the ministry had to take into account “matters of geography” and Mr Joyce had insisted Mr Chester, a Victorian, make way for more Queenslanders given a large proportion of the Nationals party room comes from the sunshine state.

Mr Turnbull also praised the distinguished service of Senator Brandis, who he will recommend to replace Alexander Downer in London.

“I hope … that George’s public service to our nation is not over.”

Senator Brandis said he was honoured and delighted to follow in Mr Downer’s footsteps, wishing his “superbly well-equipped” successors all the best in their new roles.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten criticised the promotion of Senator Cash given recent controversy surrounding her office’s involvement in AFP raids on unions, and he accused Mr Turnbull of “anti-Tasmanian bias” after the island state was left off the cabinet map.

Mr Shorten argued the Liberal and National parties had a “women’s problem” after overall female representation in cabinet did not grow in the reshuffle.

“They really now need to start speaking up for half the population and giving half the population proper representation in the parliamentary party,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will become Leader of the Senate and also take over responsibility as Special Minister of State.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham receives a small promotion to add Manager of Government Business in the Senate to his role.

A new home affairs portfolio will be overseen in the new year by Peter Dutton and he will be assisted by a new Minister for Citizenship, Alan Tudge, and Angus Taylor as Law Enforcement Minister.

Previous justice minister Michael Keenan swaps that hat for human services, with Dan Tehan taking over from Mr Porter in social services.

Michael McCormack takes on veterans affairs.

Arthur Sinodinos won’t be returning to the cabinet table, with his cancer treatment taking longer than anticipated.

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