NATIONALS MP Damian Drum has described his appointment as Victoria's new Minister for Sports and Recreation and Veterans' Affairs as an 'absolute honour'.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine freshened up his frontbench on Thursday in the lead up to the state election, promoting four new faces to cabinet.
Nationals Mr Drum, Tim Bull and Russell Northe join Liberal Nick Wakeling in the cabinet.
The MPs replace retiring ministers Nicholas Kotsiras, Hugh Delahunty, Peter Hall, and Jeanette Powell.
Mr Drum, a former Geelong footballer and Fremantle coach, said he hoped to carry on the good work of former Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty.
“I am extremely excited. It is a great honour,” he said.
“The whole state is sports crazy. To be a minister of a portfolio that has so much passion associated with it is a huge honour.
“I am looking forward to carrying on the work of Hugh Delahunty. He set the bar extremely high and I want to carry that forward.”
Mr Drum said he hoped to increase the understanding of the benefits of sport.
“I like to think we can improve awareness of what an amazing aspect of preventative health sport is. And continue to highlight the incredible social benefits of being involved in club sport,” he said.
“There is plenty of data now that shows the irrefutable benefits for people involved in sports. I want to build on that and take it to another level.”
Mr Drum was keen to stress his new role would not take him away from Bendigo.
“While I expect the sports and recreation portfolio will mean I am a fair bit busier I will still have time to meet people in Bendigo who need to see their local member,” he said.
“The Coalition has been amazing for Bendigo with the amount of projects that have been started.
“We have every right to be confident with the people in the region. Although we understand the election is going to be tight.”
The new cabinet will be sworn in on Monday.