DUGALD Saunders said while he is keen to continue many of former Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall's projects, he will step out of the Northern Tablelands MP's shadow and into the spotlight about what the biggest issues are.
Two of the major problems he hopes to tackle are the labour force shortage facing the farming industry, and land use conflicts which plagued Mr Marshall's tenure - along with many before him.
As was the case for much of his predecessor's time in the role, his first actions will be more reactionary rather than strategic, as farmers cope with the fallout from another natural disaster.
"There's obviously harvest issues in plenty of parts of the state including parts of the north, there's flooding issues that will continue to happen in the north and the west," he said.
"There's still the possibility of mouse action in parts of regional areas."
These are the obvious and most high-profile problems facing farmers and the agriculture industry at the moment, but Mr Saunders said he wants to get his feet on the ground and discover what else is going on.
As one of the state's major agricultural hubs, he said it was his intention to visit the Tamworth area at some stage, but had not made any plans just yet.
"I haven't got definite plans to be anywhere and any particular point, I'm hoping to get to as many places as I can as quickly as I can," he said.
"But I'm pretty familiar with the Tamworth area and the New England North West area, I'll be getting there certainly as quickly as I can, every part of the state has slightly different issues when it comes to ag.
"I can tell you one thing I'm committed to and that is to make sure I'm on the ground talking to as many people as possible as often as possible, that's what you can expect from me over the next 15 months."
Another person the region is hoping to see a lot of is Bronnie Taylor, who has been appointed Minister for Regional Health, a brand new portfolio in NSW.
She told the Leader her experience in life makes her well equipped to take on the role, and rural health is a topic she is passionate about.
"I am honoured that the premier and deputy premier have chosen me to take on the role as Minister for Regional Health, along with continuing my roles as Minister for Women and Mental Health," she said.
"As a nurse who spent most of career in the bush, this achievement was something I dreamed about and to finally be here is amazing.
"I come into this role with a fresh perspective, but more than 20 years' experience in the regional health system. There's a lot of work to do in this space but there are also so many opportunities."
Like Mr Saunders, she said getting out to the regions worst affected by the rural health crisis will be a priority, making Gunnedah a likely destination for Ms Taylor, with the town having played host to the regional health inquiry this year.
"My eyes are wide open and I am ready to hit the ground running and visit as many communities across the state as possible so I can hear first-hand about what needs to be done," she said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
I'm a news reporter who enjoys covering politics and energy, but I will write about anything for my community. I moved to the New England in 2021 after spending several years in the Upper Hunter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.