Ministerial window closes on Causley

By IAN THOMSON

IAN Causley has expressed his disappointment at missing out on a ministerial position in the Howard Government reshuffle, and concedes it may well have been his last chance to enter the ministry.

The Nationals Member for Page was seen by some as a logical choice for the agriculture, fisheries and forestry portfolio.

But that job has gone to Victorian National Peter McGauran.

National Party leader John Anderson prompted the reshuffle when he resigned from the frontbench two weeks ago.

Former Agriculture Minister Warren Truss has taken over Mr Anderson's portfolio of transport and regional services.

Mr Causley told The Daily Examiner yesterday that he couldn't help but feel disappointed.

"When I entered federal politics 10 years ago I was encouraged to stand for the seat of Page because it was marginal and the feeling was I had the experience to win it, and I did in a landslide," he said.

"In State Parliament before that I'd held the portfolios of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mines and water."

Mr Causley said it was sad that the North Coast was not represented in the ministry.

"It appears that the long-standing position of selecting ministers from west of the range is continuing," he said.

Mr Causley said it had also been suggested to him that his age may have counted against him for a ministerial position. He is 64.

"If age was indeed a consideration, then that would definitely rule me out for any ministerial positions in the future, although I'm not as old as the Prime Minister," he said.

The Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, when asked if he felt sorry for Mr Causley for missing out on a ministerial position, said that with or without North Coast representation the Coalition had a big job ahead of it.

"I'm more than confident that the new team will do a great job in taking this country forward."



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