SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison reshuffled his Cabinet on Thursday (Feb 6), replacing two senior ministers from junior coalition partner the National Party following their recent resignations.
Mr Morrison said Mr Keith Pitt - a well-known supporter of nuclear power and the country's coal industry - will become Australia's minister for mining and resources.
Mr David Littleproud, Australia's minister for drought, will combine that role with the responsibility of overseeing the country's A$60 billion (S$56 billion) agricultural sector.
Mr Matt Canavan resigned earlier this week as minister for mining and resources amid an unsuccessful attempt to replace the leader of the National Party.
Fellow National Party minister Bridget McKenzie was forced to resign from her post as the minister of agriculture on Sunday after an independent audit found that money from a A$100 million sports development fund was used to target votes ahead of last year's federal election.
The appointment of Mr Pitt was welcomed by Australia's resource sector.
"Keith Pitt has a reputation for straight-talking, and as a regional Queenslander, he knows first-hand about the importance of the resources sector to create jobs and investment in regional communities," said Mr Ian Macfarlane, chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council in an e-mailed statement.
"He also has a strong understanding of the policy issues that relate to the resources sector, in particular the need for affordable and reliable energy."
As part of the reshuffle, Mr Darren Chester, minister for veteran affairs and another National Party member of Parliament, will keep his position but it will be promoted to a Cabinet post, Mr Morrison added.