Weatherill Cabinet reshuffle nears completion

Fresh-faced Minister Kyam Maher is the favourite to take on the position of Upper House Leader.

Fresh-faced Minister Kyam Maher is the favourite to take on the position of Upper House Leader.

Former union official Peter Malinauskas and Taylor MP Leesa Vlahos were confirmed as new members of Premier Jay Weatherill’s Labor ministry following a meeting of Caucus yesterday afternoon.

The pair have been given the promotions in the wake of the resignations of Light MP Tony Piccolo and Gail Gago from Cabinet last week.

Complete details will be confirmed when Mr Weatherill’s new-look frontbench is sworn in at 11am today at Government House.

Mr Weatherill told media the reshuffle would help senior ministers to focus on their key portfolios, with further plans revealed to lighten the loads of John Rau, Tom Koutsantonis and Jack Snelling.

"There's a range of other ministers I want to see step up — so Minister Kyam Maher, Minister [Susan] Close, Minister [Martin] Hamilton-Smith, Minister [Stephen] Mullighan, these are all ministers who have performed well and I think can take on additional responsibilities," Mr Weatherill said.

Mr Malinauskas fills an upper house vacancy that was created after convicted MP Bernard Finnigan resigned late last year.

Fresh-faced MP Chris Picton has been elevated to a parliamentary secretary position, and the reasonably green Minister Kyam Maher – with 3.5 years worth of state parliament experience – is tipped to replace Ms Gago as Upper House Leader.

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