Region rapt at Littleproud promotion
DAVID Littleproud has been named in the Turnbull government cabinet just 17 months after taking over as Member for Maranoa.
The first-term LNP backbencher was promoted to Agriculture and Water Resources Minister in a surprise move on Tuesday.
Mr Littleproud flew straight to Canberra and was sworn in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in a ceremony at Government House yesterday morning.
He said he was honoured when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called him on Tuesday morning.
"I was very surprised with the promotion but absolutely thrilled," he said.
"It's a huge honour and the phone has been ringing hot ever since."
Prior to being elected in July 2016, Mr Littleproud spent 20 years working in agrifinance.
Since then he has been travelling to each corner of his huge electorate working for the farmers and people who live in Maranoa, and said that wasn't going to change.
"I really hadn't been focusing on the cabinet," he said.
"If you focus on those higher honours, you tend to lose sight of the job at hand and the core responsibilities you took on.
"I've always had a passion for agriculture, and the community right across Maranoa is intrinsically linked to agriculture.
"As always my primary focus will remain that policy settings are conducive to the primary producers and families of the Maranoa region."
Local farmer Ross Shepherd said Mr Littleproud would go a long way.
"He's not afraid to say what he thinks and while this has all happened fairly quickly I think it's a very good thing for him and for the electorate," Mr Shepherd said.
"With his agribusiness and political backgrounds, he's got the credentials to do very well and the region has already benefited from the work he's put in over the last 18 months.
"I'm quite sure that will continue to happen - I just wish he could get us some rain."
Killarney grain grower Wayne Peterson said Mr Littleproud understood how the agriculture industry worked.
"He's got his ear to the ground and understands the business, so in the big scheme of things I think we'll all benefit," Mr Petersen said.
Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie said the promotion was a great compliment to Mr Littleproud.
"It's a credit to the way he's conducted himself," Cr Dobie said.
"He's very dedicated, hard-working and passionate about his region.
"And while I can't speak for Mr Turnbull, I'm sure he's seen those traits in Mr Littleproud."
Cr Dobie said the Southern Downs region would continue to benefit as it had done in the past 18 months.
"And when you think about the things he's already achieved in Maranoa in such a short time, I have no doubt he'll be able to manage the electorate as well as servicing his new ministry," she said.
"He's a very capable and competent man and I've no doubt he'll succeed."
Warwick Chamber of Commerce president Julia Keogh said her predecessor's extensive knowledge of agriculture would hold him in good stead.
"It'll be great to see what someone who has been at the coalface will bring to the position," Ms Keogh said.
"This is good news for the Southern Downs and the electorate of Maranoa."
Queensland Farmers' Federation president Stuart Armitage congratulated Mr Littleproud on his appointment.
"It is great to see a Queenslander, particularly a member in a very important agricultural region such as Maranoa, elevated to control the federal agriculture and water portfolios," Mr Armitage said.
"Representing an agricultural-rich region such as Maranoa that stretches from Warwick in the south, Winton in the north and Birdsville in the west, David will bring first-hand knowledge and experiences about what Queensland farmers and regional communities need.
"QFF and industry members look forward to the constructive relationship we experienced with the Deputy Prime Minister and his office continuing with David Littleproud at the helm."