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Byrne 'wasn't demoted' in reshuffle

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk denies Bill Byrne has been demoted in a cabinet reshuffle that sees the Rockhampton MP shifted from police minister to the agriculture portfolio.

Ms Palaszczuk's changes were made after the resignation from cabinet of former agriculture minister Leanne Donaldson over a series of unpaid debts last week.

The big winner is Morayfield MP Mark Ryan, who takes over Mr Byrne's police responsibilities.

"I believe he has the necessary skills, being a former lawyer, to step up to the ministry and take on what is a very important role for the government," Ms Palaszczuk said on Friday.

When asked whether Mr Byrne had been demoted, she replied: "Not at all".

"Bill Byrne retains his seniority and agriculture is a very important industry in this state," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said agriculture and tourism were two economic drivers for the state.

Mr Ryan was to meet with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart on Friday afternoon after being sworn in by Governor Paul de Jersey during a ceremony at Government House.

"It's a big job but I'm up for it and I'm looking forward to keeping Queenslanders safe," he said.

Mr Ryan complimented Mr Byrne as doing "a great job" in the role.

Mr Byrne highlighted his own background in regional development prior to politics and said not every great idea came from a ministerial office.

"I intend to have an honest discussion with regional Queensland," he said.

"We can park the politics as far as I'm concerned and talk about the pragmatic reality of trying to generate economic growth in this state."

Jo-Ann Miller, who resigned as police minister in December, had been campaigning for a return to the front bench saying the minority government needed her experience and "skills" around the cabinet table.

Ms Palaszczuk said the new cabinet boasted the right mix of people but Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls wasn't convinced.

"This is third police minister in a little over 18 months," he said.

"That causes uncertainty for police, it causes uncertainty for the community."

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher and Ipwich MP Jennifer Howard were also promoted to a assistant minister roles.

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