NSW Premier Berejiklian defends new cabinet lineup, says party has no women problem

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Source: AAP

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has rejected claims the Liberal Party has a women problem, saying half of her parliamentary secretaries are women and half of the six new Liberals to join parliament are women.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her deputy John Barilaro have unveiled the new cabinet line-up, giving a renewed focus to the regions after the countryside swung away from the coalition at the state election.

But critics have been quick to point out there are fewer women with portfolios than there were before the reshuffle.

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.

David Elliott
David Elliott.
AAP

Fellow Nationals Melinda Pavey and Adam Marshall have also been given prominent roles in areas that hurt the Liberal/Nationals coalition on March 23.

Ms 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.

Mr Marshall will take the remainder of Mr Blair's former territory - as Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW.

"We know there were some messages from the election last weekend. That's why there is a focus with the appointment of Melinda Pavey on water," Mr Barilaro said.

He said the separation of water and agriculture "allows us to focus on each of them particularly with a greater focus on the drought but more importantly on water."

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NSW Labor's interim leader Penny Sharpe said the Nationals would have to work hard after regional voters "left them in droves".

"(Ms Pavey's) National Party colleagues have left her with a mess," she told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

"They've left her with significantly dying rivers, polluted rivers and a lot of unhappiness in the bush."

There are now only five female portfolio holders including Ms Berejiklian - that is one less than before the shake-up.

Three of those women are Nationals.

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Ms Berejiklian, asked if her party had a problem with women, said half of her parliamentary secretaries are women and half of the six new Liberals to join parliament are women.

"There's a lot of potential there in the future," she told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

"There's a long way to go but I'm pleased with the progress we're making."

Ms Sharpe said it was "very disappointing" the Liberal party could only fill two
of the 24 positions with women.

"Women deserve more than just 20 per cent of the decision making faces at the cabinet table," she said.

The new NSW cabinet lineup:

Gladys Berejiklian - Premier
John Barilaro - Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade
Dominic Perrottet - Treasurer
Paul Toole - Regional Transport and Roads
Don Harwin - Special Minister of State, Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts
Andrew Constance - Transport and Roads
Brad Hazzard - Health and Medical Research
Rob Stokes - Planning and Open Spaces
Mark Speakman - Attorney General, Prevention of Domestic Violence
Victor Dominello - Customer Service
Sarah Mitchell - Education and Early Childhood Learning
David Elliott - Police and Emergency Services
Melinda Pavey - Water, Property and Housing
Stuart Ayres - Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney
Matt Kean - Energy and Environment
Adam Marshall - Agriculture and Western NSW
Anthony Roberts - Counter Terrorism and Corrections
Shelley Hancock - Local Government
Kevin Anderson - Better Regulation and Innovation
Geoffrey Lee - Skills and Tertiary Education
John Sidoti - Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans
Bronwyn Taylor - Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women
Gareth Ward - Families, Communities and Disability Services
Damien Tudehope - Finance and Small Business

Jonathan O'Dea - Speaker
John Ajaka - President of the Legislative COuncil

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