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Truss takes over with transport issues under spotlight

<p>Former agriculture, fisheries and forestry minister Warren Truss has been confirmed as the new federal transport and regional services minister to replace John Anderson. </p> <p>He takes over the transport portfolio at a time of high profile for transport and infrastructure issues with several major proposals to be progressed, including the integration of state port planning into the AusLink scheme and decisions over the future of Australia’s Part X liner shipping laws. </p> <p>Mr Truss has been agriculture minister since 1999, with his watch notable for the new measures for handling livestock shipments in the wake of the <em>Cormo Express</em> debacle in 2003.</p> <p>These have included creating a new high level Australian agricultural representative in the Middle East, and the creation of emergency reception facilities to handle disputed cargoes of live animals. </p> <p>Mr Truss was also minister for customs in 1997 and 1998, handling a number of issues with the freight industry. </p> <p>A farmer and former deputy chair of Queensland Bulk Grains in the 1980s, Mr Truss represents rural Wide Bay in southeast Queensland.</p> <p>Mr Truss will be replaced in the agriculture portfolio by Peter McGuaran. </p> <br />