Michael McCormack new federal minister responsible for aviation

Michael McCormack during a visit to HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin in 2016. (Defence)
Michael McCormack during a visit to HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin in 2016. (Defence)

New Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will take on responsibilities for aviation matters as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

McCormack won a party room ballot in Canberra on Monday morning to become the leader of the Nationals and with it the position of Deputy Prime Minister. He replaces Barnaby Joyce, who stood down on Friday and moved to the back bench.

The 53-year-old Member for Riverina defeated North Queensland MP George Christensen, the only other candidate for the leadership. He was sworn in at Government House later the same day.

In addition to the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, McCormack retains the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel portfolios.

However, the Prime Minister’s website no longer lists McCormick as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC.

McCormack, a former journalist at The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga, first entered the federal parliament in 2010.

ABC News has a video following the results of the Nationals party room ballot on Twitter.

McCormack is the third new federal minister responsible for aviation matters since the retirement of Warren Truss in 2016.

Darren Chester held the portfolio until late 2017, when he lost the portfolio to Joyce following a ministerial reshuffle.

Joyce stepped down two weeks after it emerged he had separated from his wife and started a relationship with a former staffer, who is pregnant.

The Member for New England in the House of Representatives told reporters on Friday the revelations, as well as scrutiny over a rent-free apartment Joyce has been living in that was provided by a friend and news a sexual harassment complaint had been made against him, led to the decision to move to the back bench.