Reshuffle means work for officials

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This week's ministerial reshuffle means a lot of pre-Christmas work for officials.

The reshuffle, with moves and new appointments at all levels of the ministry, means officials must deal with new ministers, changed responsibilities and prepare incoming ministerial briefings.

There were significant changes for several portfolios, including health, where two out of three ministers remained in place - Greg Hunt and Ken Wyatt.

However, assistant health minister Dr David Gillespie was moved and Victorian senator Bridget McKenzie made minister for sport, rural health and regional communications.

Senator McKenzie, who is Deputy Leader of The Nationals, will sit in Cabinet with Mr Hunt.

A second Cabinet minister for the portfolio replicates the situation under former ministers Sussan Ley and Senator Fiona Nash, who like Mr Hunt and Senator McKenzie were also from the same state, in their case New South Wales. While the relationship between Ms Ley and Senator Nash was impacted by the traditional rivalry between rural-based Liberal and National MPs, the relationship between Mr Hunt and Senator McKenzie remains unclear.

For officials, a new minister and changed responsibilities means potentially days of work leading up to Christmas, primarily on preparing and delivering incoming ministerial briefings.