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DAFF now just DA

The federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has had its name shortened to the Department of Agriculture. Source: The Land

Despite the name change, the department’s operations will remain unchanged, with new Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce responsible for agricultural, pastoral, fishing, food and forestry industries and relevant legislation.

Parliamentary Secretary and Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck will assist Minister Joyce.

Hunter MP and former Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon will remain the Opposition’s agricultural spokesman until the Labor leadership is resolved between contenders Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese.

The department’s name change reflects moves by the new Abbott government to simplify ministerial roles and titles.

In other moves by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reduce ministerial title inflation, responsibility for Water has been shifted to SA Senator Simon Birmingham who was named assistant to the new Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

Mr Abbott said he wanted to “get away from this idea that unless you have a minister with your specific interest in his or her specific title that there is going to be any lack of concern”.

“The fact that not all of these groups are specifically enumerated in ministerial titles doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to get a fair go because, let’s face it, there are some things which are so important that in a sense every minister should be concerned about them.”