‘Real generational change’: Chris Minns reveals new Labor frontbench Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content Loading 3rd party ad content

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By Lucy Cormack and Tom Rabe

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns has revealed his opposition frontbench, elevating five new members to a shadow cabinet in a reshuffle some MPs have described as a genuine attempt to heal the party.

Former leader Jodi McKay was offered a frontbench portfolio by Mr Minns, but turned it down. Mr Minns’ recent leadership rival Michael Daley was promoted to shadow attorney-general, while newly-appointed deputy leader Prue Car will hold on to the education portfolio.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns after he was unanimously elected leader last week.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns after he was unanimously elected leader last week.Credit:Louise Kennerley

The line-up promotes five MPs to the frontbench for the first time, including Anoulack Chanthivong, Steve Kamper, Rose Jackson, Courtney Houssos and Tim Crakanthorp.

The reshuffle was described as a “real generational change” with a crop of Labor’s younger MPs elevated to the frontbench, said one Labor MP, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to do so.

MPs demoted in the reshuffle include veterans Adam Searle, Paul Lynch and Peter Primrose.

Revealing the frontbench on Friday, Mr Minns said it represented a new direction for the party and modern day Australia.

“I believe this team gives us the best chance of delivering a Labor Government in 2023,” he said of the frontbench. Thirteen of the 27 members are women.

Former leadership rival Michael Daley will serve as the shadow attorney-general

Former leadership rival Michael Daley will serve as the shadow attorney-generalCredit:James Alcock

Upper house MP Penny Sharpe will take on the environment portfolio, having quit the front bench earlier this year amid an internal policy dispute. Paul Scully has also been promoted to planning.

Ms McKay, who is said to have appreciated the offer to serve on the frontbench, indicated a preference to focus on her electorate of Strathfield.

Former active transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen, 40, has been promoted to the transport portfolio as the opposition zeroes in on tolling and cost of living in the coming months.

“Our vision is that public transport be affordable, accessible and reliable, that it remain in public hands and that our trains, buses and ferries be built here in NSW,” Ms Haylen said.

Jo Haylen has been promoted to the transport spokeswoman.

Jo Haylen has been promoted to the transport spokeswoman.Credit:Louise Kennerley

“For 10 years, the government has prioritised funnelling people onto expensive polluting toll roads rather than giving working families, particularly in Western Sydney, easy, more affordable public transport options.“

Former NSW Labor assistant general secretary Rose Jackson, 36, has been elevated to the shadow cabinet, and handed the water, housing and homelessness portfolios.

Ms Jackson, who entered parliament at the last election, said she would prosecute housing affordability, fair water allocation and prevent any move to privatise Sydney and Hunter Water.

Former shadow treasurer Walt Secord, who was among Mr Minns’s closest allies during the latest leadership tussle, will handle multiple portfolios including police and counter-terrorism.

He said he relished the opportunity to meet the government on policing, with plans to focus on families in western Sydney and rural and regional areas.

Former shadow finance spokesman Daniel Mookhey, who spent much of last year prosecuting the government on its handling of icare, has been promoted to the plum role of shadow treasurer.

He said he hopes to show NSW that Labor had a positive plan to build a stronger post-pandemic economy for working families.

Jenny Aitchison and Yasmin Catley will remain on the frontbench.

Jenny Aitchison and Yasmin Catley will remain on the frontbench.Credit:Louise Kennerley

Ms Houssos, who will be responsible for better regulation and innovation, said the new frontbench was the best alternative to a “tired, ten-year-old government”.

Jodie Harrison will serve as shadow minister for women and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence.

Some of Ms McKay’s closest allies will remain on the frontbench, including former deputy leader Yasmin Catley, Kate Washington and Jenny Aitchison.

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