New ministers replace sidelined NSW MPs

·1-min read

Another woman has been promoted to the NSW government ministry in a cabinet reshuffle to fill gaps left by two men sidelined by misconduct allegations.

Upper House MLC Natalie Ward was on Wednesday appointed as Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans, taking over from acting minister Geoff Lee.

Mr Lee, who is minister for skills and tertiary education, took on the extra responsibilities in 2019 when then sports minister John Sidoti stood aside while the corruption watchdog mulled launching an investigation into his property interests.

Mr Sidoti formally resigned from cabinet in March, when the Independent Commission Against Corruption announced it would hold a public inquiry.

The Drummoyne MP, who denies all wrongdoing, is accused of failing to disclose property interests and misusing his position as an MP.

Five women are now among premier Gladys Berejiklian's 21 ministers.

A new minister for families, communities and disability services has also been announced, after Kiama MP Gareth Ward moved to the crossbench earlier this month.

Mr Ward is under investigation for "sexual violence-related offences" dating back eight years. He denies all wrongdoing.

Ku-ring-gai MP Alister Henskens will assume the position.

Natasha Maclaren-Jones has also scored a promotion, and will become the cabinet secretary.

"Mrs Ward, Mr Henskens and Mrs Maclaren-Jones have already made significant contributions to the community and I look forward to seeing that continue in their new roles," the premier said in a statement on Wednesday night.

The appointments come as a reshuffle of the shadow cabinet is also imminent.

Labor leader Jodi McKay has lost shadow treasurer Walt Secord and shadow minister for transport Chris Minns as she weathers the fallout of a disastrous by-election result in the Upper Hunter on Saturday.

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