Aussie deputy gets infra brief

Australia's reinstated deputy prime minister has been given authority for the country's infrastructure and transport policies.

Barnaby Joyce has returned to the government as deputy prime minister following a by-election and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has given him the role of minister for infrastructure and transport.

Announcing the move, Turnbull described the brief as “a vital portfolio as the Government rolls out its record $75bn infrastructure programme”.

Joyce, leader of coalition minority partner the Nationals, was forced to stand down from parliament earlier this year when it emerged he had had New Zealand citizenship at the time of the 2016 election and had therefore been ineligible to stand.

His return also saw Turnbull undertake a wider reshuffle of his Cabinet, which included John McVeigh taking on the role of minister for regional development, territories and local government.