NEW ROLE: Melinda Pavey will take on the challenge of water in the new cabinet.
NEW ROLE: Melinda Pavey will take on the challenge of water in the new cabinet. Trevor Veale

Melinda Pavey promoted to a new ministerial role

POISONED chalice or promotion - either way you look at it, Melinda Pavey has her work cut out for her.

The Nationals Member for Oxley has been given the water portfolio partly replacing Niall Blair who stepped away from the role after massive fish kills in the Murray-Darling river system.

Fellow Nationals Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall will take the remainder of Mr Blair's former territory - as Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW.

Ms Pavey was returned as Oxley MP at the March 23 state election securing 52.6 per cent of primary votes and 65.5 per cent on a two candidate preferred basis.

She was previously the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight.

In the days after the state election she expressed an interest in the role of deputy leader of the NSW Nationals, which ended up going to re-elected Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her deputy John Barilaro unveiled the new cabinet line-up on the weekend.

There are now only five female portfolio holders including Ms Berejiklian - that is one less than before the shake-up.

Three of those women are Nationals.

NSW Labor's interim leader Penny Sharpe says Ms Pavey has been left with a mess.

"They've left her with significantly dying rivers, polluted rivers and a lot of unhappiness in the bush," she said.

In other changes Ms Berejiklian has created the new portfolios of regional youth and regional transport as well as combining energy and environment.

The Premier's leadership team is largely unchanged, with Dominic Perrottet remaining as Treasurer and Andrew Constance maintaining transport and infrastructure as well as Leader of the House responsibilities.

Following the state election Mr Barilaro accepted responsibility for the result, which saw the Nationals lose the seats of Murray and Barwon to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, and the North Coast seat of Lismore to Labor.

"We do accept the weekend's verdict in a couple of those seats (and) that in some areas, and on some policy, we've got to do better," Mr Barilaro said.

Ms Pavey will be sworn into her new role on Tuesday afternoon.