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Barnaby Joyce sworn in as Ag Minister (again)

Following his win in the New England by-election at the weekend, Barnaby Joyce was sworn back in as the country's Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources in Canberra yesterday.

Minister Joyce was also sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister, giving him the same responsibilities he held before being stood down from Parliament by the High Court.

The National Farmers' Federation has welcomed the return of Mr Joyce, with President Fiona Simson saying it ended a period of uncertainty for the portfolio.

“The farm sector certainly appreciated Prime Minister Turnbull assuming ‘caretaker’ responsibility for agriculture and water resources, however, we are pleased to have the portfolio under more permanent management.”

Ms Simson said the NFF looked forward to again working with Minister Joyce towards the shared goal of advancing Australian agriculture.

“As Minister Joyce declared at the beginning of the year, the farm sector is currently basking in a golden era.

"Today’s national accounts figures clearly demonstrate this.

"The figures show the agriculture sector continues to excel with record crops underpinning rural goods export growth of more than 20 per cent through the year to the September quarter.

“However, now is not the time to be complacent.

“We must continue to build on these good times to assure the sector’s continued growth and prosperity."

McKenzie assumes Deputy Leader position

Another consequence of the High Court citizenship ruling was the departure of Nationals Deputy Leader Fiona Nash.

The Nationals' party room voted this morning on a replacement for that position - electing Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie to the position.

Senator McKenzie has been in Parliament since 2010 and hails from the regional centre of Ballarat, Victoria.

The National Farmers' Federation has also welcomed Senator McKenzie to her new post, with the organisation saying it looks forward to working with the new Deputy Leader to champion the interests of Australian farmers.

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