EX-SA treasurer returns to opposition role
Former South Australian treasurer Rob Lucas and five new faces, including an ex-TV sport presenter, are part of the Liberal’s expanded and revamped shadow cabinet.
Mr Lucas, a veteran member of the upper house, will become opposition treasury spokesman, just a week before new Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis delivers his first budget.
The reshuffle by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall was prompted by the defection of Martin Hamilton-Smith to a government ministry and the upcoming retirement of former treasury spokesman Iain Evans.
“My renewed shadow cabinet strikes a balance between experience and regeneration,” Mr Marshall said on Thursday as he expanded his frontbench from 12 to 14 to match the number of ministers.
Mr Lucas, state treasurer between 1997 and 2002, said he was committed to serving a full eight-year term.
He told reporters he hoped to be judged on the basis of merit.
“I’ve had experience of a bit over four years of being state treasurer and probably close to a decade shadowing treasurers or finance minister.”
If the Liberals won the 2018 election, Mr Lucas would be the only member to have experience in government.
Mr Marshall will take on treasury in the lower house.
Former Network Ten sport presenter and parliamentary newcomer Corey Wingard will take on transport and road safety.
The opposition has been critical of the transport portfolio going to another newcomer, Labor’s Stephen Mullighan, who they describe as an “L-plate minister”.
But Mr Marshall said being a shadow minister came nowhere near the amount of responsibility faced by Mr Mullighan.
Rachel Sanderson will become the third woman in the frontbench and her responsibilities will include higher education and families and child protection.
The other new faces are John Gardner, who takes on police, correctional services and justice; regional MP Tim Whetstone, with investment and trade, recreation and sport, and racing; and Peter Treloar will became shadow cabinet secretary.
Deputy Liberal leader Vickie Chapman will shadow the attorney-general, while Stephen Wade will take on health.
“This is an important time for renewal within the state Liberal team and I’m looking forward to the contributions they will each make over the coming years,” Mr Marshall said.