National Party leader Warren Truss in Grafton Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
National Party leader Warren Truss in Grafton Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Boost for regions in drought in new Coalition Agreement

GYMPIE'S Wide Bay MP Warren Truss is still National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister after today's National Party meeting, which followed Malcolm Turnbull's elevation to Prime Minister.

Mr Turnbull has just faced his first parliamentary question time as Prime Minister, after his defeat of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the Liberal Party room last night.

A spokesman for Mr Truss said yesterday Mr Truss and Mr Turnbull had now signed off on a new coalition agreement, which is understood to include more money for water supplies and a shift of water resource responsibility to the Agriculture portfolio, from Environment.

There will also be a significant boost in drought support for farmers and support for regional communities, although the details of that support are still unknown.

The new agreement sees the existing coalition policies on climate change, regional communities and gay marriage maintained, including the policy of having a plebiscite on gay marriage after the next federal election.

Mr Abbott yesterday pledged his support for Mr Abbott, but yesterday quickly adjusted to the new political reality.

Mr Truss remains the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Another strong Abbott supporter, Barnaby Joyce remains Agriculture Minister.

Agricultural industry observers say Mr Joyce will benefit more than he might have expected from the changes, particularly the shift of water responsibilities to his Agriculture portfolio, helping him move on his quest to build more dams and lift agricultural production.

Gympie Times

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