PARKES MP Mark Coulton was sworn in as Minister for Local Government, Regional Services and Decentralisation at a Canberra ceremony on Wednesday.
Mr Coulton said he was "deeply honoured" to receive a seat on the frontbench, particularly given the passion he holds for his three portfolios.
"Having been mayor of Gwydir Shire Council prior to first being elected to the Australian parliament more than 11 years ago, local government is close to my heart," Mr Coulton said.
"As Minister for Regional Services, I will now be in a position to make even more of a difference to people's lives in rural and regional areas, which is a great privilege.
"Decentralisation is a significant part of what helps regions to thrive. I have long supported bringing more people and a diverse skill set into our regions."