Federal Election 2016: Joyce set to push for 'Barnaby's bank' after successful election campaign for Nationals
The National Party is expected to flex its muscle after a successful election campaign and push for the Department of Agriculture to take full control of a new Commonwealth-run bank for drought loans.
The bank has been a long-held ambition for Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who announced last month that a re-elected Coalition would set up a Regional Investment Corporation (RIC).
It would be a single national body to administer, assess and allocate concessional loans for drought-hit farmers.
The RIC would also administer water infrastructure loans and could eventually help support future agricultural and infrastructure projects deemed worthy.
Giving the Department of Agriculture full control of the process is one of a number of proposals the Nationals will discuss when the party meets in Canberra tomorrow to decide what it wants out of the new Coalition Agreement.
A decision to create the RIC within the Agriculture Department, and bypass the Finance portfolio, is likely to cause tension within the Coalition.
Mr Joyce previously used his Coalition Agreement with Malcolm Turnbull to gain control of the Water portfolio, which was shifted out of the Environment Department and into Agriculture after Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister.
Mr Joyce has made it clear he wants the new written agreement to be kept secret, despite pressure from the Opposition, which has called for the document to be made public.
Bridget McKenzie, Matt Canavan contenders for Cabinet promotion
Despite speculation that the Nationals might score an extra Cabinet position following a successful election result, some within the party believe it is more likely to be an outer ministry spot.
Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester said he would like to see Victorian senator Bridget McKenzie elevated.
"I think Senator Bridget McKenzie from Gippsland obviously is a favourite of mine, being a friend for many years and someone who has done very well in the Senate been a strong campaigner on education issues," he said.
"I'd love to see Bridget get a promotion but it is not a decision I get to make.
"We're in a good position where the Deputy Prime Minister has a range of people to choose from, there is no bad choices.
"It is just a question of picking the person who is most equipped to balance the team and stand up to a more senior role."
Queensland senator Matt Canavan is also considered a contender for promotion.
"Look, you try in this job to get as high as you can in terms of influencing things for your state," he said.
"And I hope as Minister for Northern Australia I have been able to achieve a little bit for Queensland and if I am lucky enough and honoured enough to get further promotion, I would do my best for the state of Queensland."
The Nationals overcame a fierce three-cornered contest to win the northern Victorian seat of Murray from the Liberals, and it is looking increasingly likely that Michelle Landry and Ken O'Dowd will hold on in their central Queensland seats of Capricornia and Flynn.
That would boost the total number of Lower House Nationals seats to 16, but the guarantee of an additional ministerial position will depend on the final size of the ministry.
Source: ABC News