Lismore MP Thomas George.
Lismore MP Thomas George.

Northern pollies in good shape

THE NSW North Coast is tipped to get at least one minister in the new Coalition State Government, and local National Party MPs Geoff Provest and Thomas George are in line for promotions.

Former shadow minister for the North Coast and Small Business, Nationals MP for Ballina Don Page is expected to be among the ministers to be announced, probably on Thursday, by Premier Barry O'Farrell.

Nationals MP for Tweed Geoff Provest said yesterday he was not expecting a ministerial gong, or even a role as a parliamentary secretary, but probably would not say “no”.

“My chief role is working for the people of the Tweed,” he said.

“If I get offered anything else and I believe it can assist the people of the Tweed I will accept that.”

Mr Provest said because Mr Page was shadow minister for the North Coast and Small Business prior to the election, he could be expected to be named as one of the ministers, but he emphasised that decision was up to Mr O'Farrell and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner.

“We are having a party meeting on Wednesday afternoon and I've just been told unofficially the cabinet will probably be named on Thursday,” Mr Provest said.

Mr George, who has in the past held the position as National Party whip in the Lower House and fill-in speaker late at night when others weren't available, is tipped to retain similar roles under Mr O'Farrell.

Mr Page's former position as shadow minister for the North Coast was created in 2007 after a campaign by the Tweed Daily News' sister paper the Northern Star and the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils.

Mr Page said the role would help keep the region's issues front-of-mind for the new government.



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