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Darren Chester loses Cabinet seat in reshuffle, with Barnaby Joyce new minister responsible for aviation

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 19, 2017

A file image of Darren Chester.
A file image of Darren Chester.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will take ministerial responsibility for aviation matters following a cabinet reshuffle.

Joyce, who was recently re-elected back into Parliament after being ruled ineligible when it was discovered he was a dual citizen, is the new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

The Nationals leader, Member for New England in the House of Representatives and Deputy Prime Minister replaces Darren Chester, who has been left out of Cabinet following the reshuffle.

Chester, the Member for Gippsland, said it had been an enormous honour to serve as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, which he described as the “best portfolio possible”.

“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 off some of the jobs we’ve started,” Chester said in a statement.


“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 serve the Turnbull government.”

New Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce. (Minister's Instagram account)
New Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce. (Minister’s Instagram account)

Chester, who became Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in 2016 when he replaced the retiring Warren Truss, said he was looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Gippsland with “passion, enthusiasm and determination for many years to come”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed five new members to Cabinet as part of the reshuffle announced on Tuesday.

“I have to say, Darren has been an outstanding minister, I regret that this has resulted in him no longer being a member of the ministry,” Turnbull was quoted as saying on ABC News.

Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive said she looked forward to a continued focus on efficient infrastructure that met the needs of the community and economy from Minister Joyce.

“The infrastructure sector is part of the fabric of the Australian economy, and we welcome Mr Joyce to this important portfolio,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with the Federal Government on the key issues facing the sector.”

Wilkie also thanked Chester for his contribution to the sector over the past two years.

In other aviation-related appointments, Peter Dutton was formally named as Minister for Home Affairs, a new portfolio which has responsibility for the Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the Australian Border Force and therefore security at the nation’s airports.

Dutton was named to lead the new so-called super ministry in July 2017.

Wilkie said: “Airport safety and security is a top priority for our members, and we look forward to working with Mr Dutton in his new capacity as Minister for Home Affairs.”

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Comments (7)

  • Marc


    Joyce should be PM, but the city folk don’t like straight shooters.

  • Rob


    Oh great,
    thats all we need, another “dont know crap” bean counter slime-bag politician to talk talk talk and get nothing done about the drastic decline in Aviation in Australia, let alone the conditions we all swim in now.

  • Chris Grealy


    Air New Zealand will be very happy with the latest re-shuffle, I am sure.

  • Doug bell


    Maybe Barnaby can lever the QANTAS board to sack Alan Joyce. For the third time in as many flights I have experienced “network delays” that were apparent at 1700 hrs (22 hrs) before travel, no contact at all and even had my phone call disconnected 3 times when I discovered the issue myself. Not good enough, esp for regional pax who do not have options. Barnaby are you listening?

  • James


    That’s just terrible. Barnaby Joyce couldn’t even manage the Water portfolio. He also bought land conveniently along the Inlad Rail path.

  • Gforgeorge


    Chester was seen as being too progressive by the old grey men in the National party, and James you cant blame Joyce about Murray River irrigation situation, that was a bad plan from the word go. Tony Burke was told by numerous irrigators from S.A ,VIC and NSW that the policy was full of holes and would be open to any farmer who new how to get around the rules.

  • Marcus


    Always curious what a minister might bring to a portfolio?

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