Truss deal backs the regions

WIDE BAY MP Warren Truss says he is optimistic about the new Coalition Government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Truss, a strong Tony Abbott supporter, remains Deputy Prime Minister under the new Coalition deal, which also sees many of the Abbott government's policies unchanged.

Major policy areas which will not change overnight are on issues like climate change, regional communities and same sex marriage.

One significant change, likely to be more popular among farmers than environmentalists, is the shifting of water resources responsibilities from the Environment area to the Agriculture portfolio, under Minister Barnaby Joyce, who has announced an agenda to build more dams and boost agricultural production.

Mr Truss expressed his and the National Party's unequivocal support for the new Turnbull leadership at a news conference in Canberra yesterday, after Mr Turnbull's first parliamentary Question Time.

"The Liberal Party chose their leader and they have made that decision," he said.

"We have formed a government," he said.

WARREN Truss paid tribute to his "friend and colleague Tony Abbott" yesterday, while also welcoming the new Malcolm Turnbull leadership.

He said the Nationals had achieved for regional Australia, including on mobile phone and television black spots.

He said it would continue to address the financial barriers faced by regional Australians over access to higher education and would seek to achieve extra support for "stay at home parent families with a child below the age of one".

Mr Truss said he acknowledged "the spirit" with which Mr Turnbull had conducted what he described as "intense negotiations" yesterday.

Cross-bench Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus said he also was hopeful of an improved relationship with a more approachable Government.

Gympie Times

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