Strong voice for Tweed

THE appointment of Nationals MP for Ballina Don Page as Minister for the North Coast will be good for the region and in particular for the Tweed, says Tweed MP Geoff Provest.

“It's very good news,” Mr Provest said yesterday.

“Don was leading the way on cross-border issues and I look forward to working with him.”

Mr Provest said it was important for the North Coast to have a voice in Cabinet to push local issues, such as the effect lower Queensland business charges have on businesses here and the need for a rail link from Casino to the Gold Coast airport.

Mr Page, whose electorate joins the southern border of the Tweed seat, was yesterday formally sworn in with 21 other Cabinet ministers. He was also named Local Government Minister.

However, another North Coast politician, Upper House MLC Catherine Cusack appears to have been one of the few losers in the new ministerial line-up.

Ms Cusack, who lives at Lennox Heads and was shadow environment minister, was dumped from the frontbench in favour of newly-elected Member for Maitland Robyn Parker.

The 22-member frontbench includes three new faces.

Another newly-elected Liberal MP, Graham Annesley, the Member for Miranda, is Sport and Recreation Minister.

The third new face on the frontbench is Victor Dominello, the Ryde MP who has been appointed Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs. Mr Dominello won Ryde after a term in the Legislative Council, but was not in the shadow cabinet.

The Nationals frontbench line-up had been cut from eight to seven.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has chosen five women and 17 men for his frontbench team in a move supported yesterday by Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner.

“We ... have the balance in terms of the Upper House, in terms of women, but also in terms of experience,” he told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony.

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