Riverina MP Michael McCormack has been named deputy leader of the house and put in charge of veterans affairs in a pre-Christmas cabinet reshuffle.
He will leave the small business portfolio to take on the role vacated by Dan Tehan, who was moved into cabinet as Social Services Minister. Former Social Services Minister Christian Porter was promoted to Attorney-General following George Brandis’ departure.
Mr McCormack said the call while he was halfway up a 45-metre tall grain silo north of Wagga.
“Only in Australian politics,” he laughed. “This is a good role, particularly for the Member for Riverina given we’ve got three defence bases in my home city and there are a lot of veterans living in and around the city.”
Mr McCormack was the Assistant Defence Minister prior to the 2016 federal election, when he was given the small business portfolio. His return to the defence sector also brings with it a departmental responsibility.
“I was also named the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Anzac Centenary and given next year is the centenary of the end of the Great War there will be a lot of special events locally, across the nation and around the world,” Mr McCormack said.