Premier David Burt has confirmed that Public Works Minister, Lieutenant Colonel David Burch was “back at his desk” after being on sick leave since September.

In a statement released last night, Mr Burt said that he looked forward to “working with him as we deliver on our Throne Speech and platform promises”.

“The Ministry of Public Works plays a critical role in the economic recovery plan and having the substantive minister back is most welcomed,” he added.

He also thanked Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who took over Colonel Burch’s portfolio during his absence.

Mr Burt said Mr Furbert had “tackled the role energetically and worked with the team in the ministry through critical periods on the Tynes Bay plan for refurbishment”.

“I must also recognise those public officers in the ministry who provided seamless and dedicated support to the acting minister and the Government during this period. The whole team has worked well.”