Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne at the Dalby Saleyards on Wednesday.

Photo Elouise Quinlivan / Dalby Herald
Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne at the Dalby Saleyards on Wednesday. Photo Elouise Quinlivan / Dalby Herald Elouise Quinlivan

Bill Byrne branded 'champion of the bush' in Cabinet reshuffle

MEMBER for Rockhampton Bill Byrne is again Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Rural Economic Development after a Queensland Cabinet shake-up today.

He hands over the Police, Fire and Emergency Services, and Corrective Services portfolios to Mark Ryan to become the Palaszczuk Government's "champion for the bush”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Byrne had done a "fantastic job as Agriculture and Fisheries Minister before and I know he'll do so again”.

"Representing the people of Rockhampton - Australia's Beef Capital - Bill has long been a champion for the bush and I know he's excited about taking on the portfolio again."

"I have tasked Bill to also focus on Rural Economic Development, particularly with my Government's plans for the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, strengthening debt mediation provisions for our farmers and our commitment to agricultural research and development and biosecurity."

"Bill has been an outstanding Police Minister, but I want a regional voice in Cabinet representing our primary industries."

"Anyone who knows Bill knows he's a passionate advocate for our farming, grazing and fishing industries. He is a champion for regional Queenslanders."

The Premier said the elevation of Mark Ryan, her Assistant Minister, to Cabinet as the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services was in recognition of his talent and his previous service in the Parliament.

"Mark has first-class credentials with his background as a lawyer and his service in key Parliamentary Committees," the Premier said.

Mr Ryan has previously served as Chair of the Ethics Committee and a member of the Parliament's Crime and Corruption Committee and Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee.

"Mark has been my Assistant Minister over the last year. I've given him a big job but I know he's up to it," the Premier said.

"As a Government, we are investing additional resources into our Police and Emergency Services. Last financial year, we added 266 extra police, 54 extra paramedics and 44 extra firefighting staff."

With Mr Ryan's appointment to Cabinet, a new Assistant Minister - the Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher - will be appointed for Local Government and Infrastructure.

"Since his election last year, Glenn has worked tirelessly to promote development in the Gladstone region, including his support for our growing biofuels sector and championing infrastructure developments locally such as major improvements to the Gladstone hospital and our plan for a new high school at Calliope," the Premier said.

"As Chair of the Parliament's Agriculture and Environment Committee and his earlier service as a member of the Parliamentary Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee, Glenn has demonstrated his commitment to work with key stakeholders to promote Queensland's future development," she said.

"My Government's partnership with local government is critical to our priorities for creating jobs, promoting economic development and delivering our $40 billion four-year infrastructure program. Glenn will support the work of Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to work with councils across our State."

The Premier said Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard, who was previously the Assistant Minister for Local Government, would be appointed Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier.

"Jennifer has been very active in her role as Assistant Minister for Local Government, and her role will be to support me with our focus on creating jobs and attracting new investment as well as supporting our vibrant Arts sector," the Premier said.

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