FEDERAL Member for Mallee Andrew Broad says he was “surprised” to be named Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister as part of the Federal Government’s ministry shake-up earlier this week.
The Coalition Government cabinet took on a new look following the appointment of Scott Morrison as the country’s new Prime Minister last Friday, with Mr Broad one of six Victorian MPs, including Senator Bridget McKenzie and Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, to be added to the Morrison-McCormack Government’s Ministry list.
He is also the first Member for Mallee to be appointed to a ministry position, with the history behind the appointment not lost on the Mallee MP
“This new role is a tremendous honour, and I am looking forward to serving even more regional Australians across our country,” Mr Broad said this week, adding that he will “hit the ground running”.
“My new responsibilities will include assisting with infrastructure, transport and regional development alongside Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. This is a portfolio I am passionate about, and gives great opportunity to afford regional Australians better outcomes for their communities and their families, including the people in the great electorate of Mallee.”
Mr Broad was sworn into the new role by Australian Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC on Tuesday, and spoke to the Mildura Weekly prior to undertaking a number of briefings concerning his new role.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting this following the events of last week,” he said. “No- one ever in the history of the Mallee Electorate has been a Federal minister before, so it was a shock.”
Mr Broad said he was still coming to terms with being a member of the “executive team that is running the country.”
“It’s a bit bizarre sitting in the cabinet room with the Prime Minister chairing the meeting,” he said. “My previous visits to the cabinet room were purely based on wanting to have a look.
“Now I am a part of that decision-making team, and it’s exciting.”
Mr Broad said he was impressed with the team chosen by Mr Morrison to lead Australia, believing it was a team that could deliver the Coalition another term in government.
“We can win the next election with this team, I have no doubt about that,” he said. “The polls are still 50/50 between us and Labor, and that’s after the week this government had.
“It tells me that people are looking for an excuse not to vote Bill Shorten into power.”
Mr Broad said that while his political life would get “extremely busy”, he was looking forward to the challenge.
“All I can do is my best,” he said. “I’m going to learn a lot, and I will still be travelling all over the Mallee representing the people of my electorate.
“What this appointment does is increase my ability to lobby for major projects that are important to the Mallee.”