Barnaby Joyce says the government made a mistake by ditching the Special Envoy on Drought from its new-look leadership team, a move he believes "sends a bad message".
The New England MP, who learnt he'd lost his position via social media, said he was "disappointed, not on my own behalf, but on the behalf of the people" struggling through the dry times.
"I think the resource of a drought envoy should have been maintained," he said.
"Even if you change the drought envoy - kick me out and put someone else in - you should have kept it, because it sends a bad message that maybe you care more about the Great Barrier Reef than you care about the drought.
"I don't want to white ant parliament, but I think they should have kept the position. Why? Because the drought is getting worse for people, not better."
The government may have done away with Mr Joyce's position, however drought has been given a prominent position on the frontbench, with David Littleproud appointed the Minister for Drought.
"I think David is a good minister and I know that he won't miss a beat in cabinet on the behalf of people who are doing it tough," Mr Joyce said.
"I've spoke to David. He's a wise person, he doesn't need too much briefing from me."
Along with being Water Minister, Mr Littleproud has added Minister for Natural Disasters to his portfolio, which suggests the government may look to classify the drought as a natural disaster.
"I think it is a natural disaster, one that happens slowly not overnight," Mr Joyce said.
Parkes MP Mark Coulton was named Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government.
Mr Joyce, a passionate advocate for decentralisation, said he'd like to see Mr Coulton nominate what "department, or section of a department" would be decentralised next.
"Let those departments know early that they're moving out to the country, I think that is vitally important, and let the Australian people know early about what your intentions are in that space," Mr Joyce said.
"Mark, coming from a regional area, knows how important it is to decentralise."
Nationals senator and the party's deputy leader Bridgett McKenzie was promoted to Agriculture Minister.