FORMER State Primary Industries Minister, Steve Whan, has been confirmed to replace Tony Kelly in the NSW Legislative Council.
Mr Whan, who lost his lower house Eden-Monaro seat to Nationals MP, John Barilaro, in March's State election, was the only person to put his hand up for a ballot of Country Labor representatives to replace Mr Kelly, who quit last week.
A return to NSW politics for Mr Whan means he will give up his job of deputy chief-of-staff with Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke.
State Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, described the move as a retrograde step.
"The rubber stamp on Steve Whan, it really kills the idea of new blood," Mr Gay said.
A former planning minister in the Keneally Government, Mr Kelly will return to his Wellington watermelon farm to spend more time with his family.