Three new faces appointed to SA cabinet

SA Premier Steven Marshall has unveiled a reshuffled ministry after three ministers resigned.
SA Premier Steven Marshall has unveiled a reshuffled ministry after three ministers resigned.

Two first-term MPs and a rising star in the Liberal Party have been added to the South Australian cabinet in a major reshuffle Premier Steven Marshall says brings together experience and enthusiasm.

Current parliamentary speaker Vincent Tarzia and backbenchers Stephen Patterson and David Basham have been added to the ministry following the resginations of three cabinet members on Sunday.

Mr Marshall says his new team blends experience with new faces, bringing a fresh perspective.

"My new cabinet brings together a wealth of experience and expertise in key portfolio areas with some incredibly talented new ministers who will add fresh energy, enthusiasm and skills to their roles," he said on Tuesday.

Mr Tarzia will give up the speaker's role to take on the police and emergency services portfolios.

He was thought to have been unlucky not to be named a minister after the Liberals won the 2018 election, thanks in part to him seeing of a challenge from high-profile independent Nick Xenophon to retain his seat of Hartley.

Mr Patterson, who only entered parliament at the 2018 poll, will take trade and investment and Mr Basham, also a first-term MP, primary industries and regional development.

They replace Stephan Knoll, Tim Whetstone and David Ridgway who all quit the cabinet on Sunday.

Mr Knoll and Mr Whetsone were caught up in the row over accommodation allowances, with both country MPs admitting to wrongly claiming money while staying in Adelaide for parliamentary and other business.

Mr Ridgway stood down after telling the premier he did not want to serve in a reshuffled cabinet.

In other changes to portfolios, current Attorney-General Vickie Chapman will add planning and local government to her responsibilities while Sports Minister Corey Wingard gets transport and infrastructure but loses police and emergency services.

The major reshuffle, not something Mr Marshall would have wanted to undertake during the global coronavirus pandemic, is promised to be the last until the next state election in 20 months.

But it's also left him at risk of increased instability within his own ranks after he decided again including anyone from the party's conservative faction in his revamped lineup.

"We have put together a cabinet which is best going to serve the state during this global pandemic," Mr Marshall said.

"There were many, many people that we considered. We are spoilt for choice in the Liberal Party room.

"But I formed the opinion that this provides the best balance, the best fit for the portfolios that were available."

The new ministers will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Australian Associated Press