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Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has role as Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture in new Berejiklian Cabinet

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Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has been given the role of Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture in the new Berejiklian cabinet. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her new-look cabinet at the weekend that saw some changes including the separation of water and agriculture into separate portfolios and a change-up to the role of Parliamentary Secretaries.

Instead of having a Parliamentary Secretary for regions, such as Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, the roles will now be sorted out into portfolios.

Not every portfolio has a secretary, but Michael Johnsen has secured the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture role.

"If there's anything that a government member can do and that is exactly that, take away any barriers there might be to our farming entrepreneurs in this case to succeed and create a business and a lifestyle that we all love,"

"If I can do my bit to take away any barriers to success I will do exactly that," said Michael Johnsen.

"One of the key things that I want to get my teeth into is the marketing of the idea that food doesn't come out of a container. I know this gets talked about all of the time and I know people say that for decades people have forgotten, kids in the city don't understand where milk comes from, or eggs or beef or whatever,"

"It is going to be an ongoing challenge unless you have kids grow up with some sort of farm experience or have some sort of hands on approach to where the produce that they're eating or drinking comes from then it's always going to be a challenge. But that doesn't mean we should give up so I'm going to continue to push on that," he said.

"Agriculture is something that I've always been very interested in, always been very fond of and I like eating and drinking as well so why not promote it."

There has also been a lot of social commentary on the number of women, or lack thereof in the new Berejiklian Cabinet.

There are five females holding portfolio positions, three of those are from the National Party and its one less woman holding a portfolio than the previous cabinet.

"People having a go at the first female elected Premier of NSW about a lack of females in the cabinet? Well, I'll leave it there, I think that says everything," said Michael Johnsen.

"I'm happy for the first elected female Premier of NSW to make those decisions and I've got all of the confidence in the world in Gladys Berejiklian, she does a great job, she's a very very capable woman and she has been involved in appointing very very capable women in all sorts of areas"

"I believe in common sense and the right person for the right job," he added.

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelJohnsenforHunter/