[Updated 1pm] Ballina MP Don Page has lost his major portfolio of local government in the NSW government cabinet reshuffle, announced earlier today.
Mr Page announced this morning he would quit politics at the next state election, due in less than a year.
He will also step aside as minister for the north coast. That role will be taken over by deputy premier Andrew Stoner.
‘It has been an honour to serve the people of the Ballina Electorate for the past 26 years and I will continue to do that until March 2015,’ Mr Page said in a statement this morning.
He said that during his time in the ministry, ‘we have laid the foundations for a stronger and revitalised local government sector capable of delivering better outcomes for the people of New South Wales’.
He thanked ‘all those who have assisted me in putting in place our local government reforms for the future’, as well as ‘my many parliamentary colleagues who have helped me along the way’.
Mr Page steps aside for a relative unknown: Bathurst MP Paul Toole.
Other significant changes in the new cabinet include the appointments of Andrew Constance as treasurer, Pru Goward as minister for planning, Brad Hazzard as attorney-general, Gabrielle Upton as minister for family and community services and Kevin Humphries as minister for land and water.
Deputy premier Andrew Stoner will also take on additional economic responsibilities together with the portfolios of tourism, major events and small business.
Destined for the recycle bin are hardline attorney-general Greg Smith and controversial environment minister Robyn Parker.
During her term Ms Parker was responsible for announcing an amnesty for amateur anglers fishing in the state’s marine parks and the opening up of a number of national parks to amateur hunters.
NSW premier Mike Baird says his new cabinet is a mix of experience with an injection of youth.
As premier, Mr Baird will not attempt to also hold onto treasury but said he will help to see through the process of the state budget, which is due in June.
He will, however, become minister for Western Sydney, a job also held by his predecessor Barry O’Farrell.
Mr Baird became premier last week following Mr O’Farrell’s resignation over evidence he gave to the corruption watchdog, and is due to unveil his full cabinet in coming days.
– with AAP