The ACT government's frontbench will be overhauled on Friday as Andrew Barr seeks to move beyond Joy Burch's ministerial resignation at the start of the election year.
Backbenchers Meegan Fitzharris and Chris Bourke won the backing of caucus on Thursday and are set to be promoted to Cabinet, ahead of Mary Porter's early retirement and a subsequent countback for her seat.
A new ministry will be created, bringing the number in the ACT cabinet to seven. Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell could see his portfolios changed ahead of his retirement from politics at the election. Sources said Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury could take on Ms Burch's education portfolio.
Ms Fitzharris, a former chief of staff to Mr Barr, was elected to represent Molonglo in 2015 after former chief minister Katy Gallagher left the Assembly. Dr Bourke has previously served as minister for education, industrial relations, corrections and indigenous affairs but was dropped from cabinet after the 2012 election to make way for Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury.
Mr Barr said in a statement the reshuffle would "bring the renewal I was seeking for my team heading into 2016, with the right balance of experience and fresh ideas".
There were no other nominations for the ministry roles. Ms Porter's retirement will leave Ms Burch and a newly elected member, likely to be lawyer Jayson Hinder, to make up the backbench. A further ministry could be added after the election, when the Assembly will grow to 25 members.
Ms Burch said on Tuesday she would stand down from the cabinet, but will remain in the Legislative Assembly and seek re-election in October.
Ms Fitzharris' move was widely expected and she said she looked forward to playing a bigger role in the government. She wouldn't be drawn on what portfolios she would like in the reshuffle, but has campaigned strongly on roads upgrades and the city to Gungahlin tram line.
"That is entirely in the Chief Minister's hands," she said. "Whatever I get is going to be an opportunity to serve and I am looking forward to that."
"This year has been the highs of politics and I think, particularly for Joy Burch, some of the tougher sides as well."
Ms Fitzharris said the government was tracking well ahead of the election, citing Wednesday's announcements of direct international flights.
Dr Bourke said he was delighted to be returning to the frontbench after three years without a portfolio.
"The last three years has been a great time to gain different experiences. I have been government whip, assistant speaker, chairing a committee and taking on a national role in the Labor Party," he said.
"It's always hard work in politics, concentrating on being in the ministry and undertaking general campaigning and representing an electorate."
Dr Bourke described himself as a "a proud Gamillaroi man [and] the first Aboriginal dentist in Australia". He is undertaking a Masters of Management and Public Administration at the University of Canberra.
A new public transport portfolio could be created in the reshuffle. The government's new Transport Canberra Agency will become operational on July 1.
Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson said the moves were not about renewal in the government.
"This has been brought on by a minister resigning due to a police investigation into her office and she has been replaced by a minister, Chris Bourke, who was previously dumped for failing in his portfolio," Mr Hanson said.
"This looks dysfunctional to me and I don't see how it is going to be good for the community."
Mr Hanson said the opposition frontbench would remain in place until the election.