The Labor caucus yesterday elected 14 of the party’s MPs to hold frontbench roles, with federal defector Nick Champion entering state parliament as a minister – as InDaily exclusively revealed yesterday.
He is the major Labor change from the former shadow ministry, replacing Lee Odenwalder who will take the role of government whip.
Left-winger and former union boss Joe Szakacs also enters the ministry, after serving as a shadow minister in Opposition.
He’ll take the cabinet spot of the Right’s Emily Bourke, who will be an assistant minister, alongside fledgling MP Rhiannon Pearce, who enters parliament having snared the north-eastern suburbs marginal of King from the Liberals.
But a shock development appears on the cards – with independent Geoff Brock, who defeated Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan in his Stuart stronghold, strongly tipped to return to the ministry, having served in the former Weatherill Government.
Brock’s support allowed then-Premier Jay Weatherill to return to power as a minority government in 2014.
His prospective return to the ministry would give the new Malinauskas administration significant regional heft, and shore up parliamentary support – although the numbers in the House suggests it will not be needed.
But Government figures were coy about the prospect of Brock joining the ministry last night, with one telling InDaily: “All will be revealed tomorrow.”
Brock himself last night declined to comment as to whether he would return to a frontbench role.
Malinauskas’s full cabinet will be sworn in at Government House today around 10am.
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