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McCormack's rocky first day as acting PM

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April 17, 2018

Michael McCormack will be acting PM this week for the first time since becoming Nationals leader.

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack won't be standing still while he takes the reins from Malcolm Turnbull.

As Mr Turnbull jets off to London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Mr McCormack will be touring regional towns in his first stint as the nation's acting leader.

In contrast to the political storm which led to Barnaby Joyce's resignation, Mr McCormack has made a steady, if unspectacular, start as Nationals leader.

The former newspaper editor hasn't produced front page headlines, a welcome change for the Nationals after Mr Joyce's affair threw the coalition off course.

Mr McCormack, 53, told AAP he's "honoured and excited" to take on the role while Mr Turnbull is in Europe for two weeks at diplomatic meetings and Anzac ceremonies.

That means the former veterans' affairs minister will be in charge of the nation as it commemorates Anzac Day.

He lists military history among his passions and noted the importance of April 25 on the nation's calendar.

Mr McCormack will travel to regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

"I think it's important to get out and about, especially in the regions as often as possible, because it is my most important job to listen to and speak for regional people, especially when I am acting as prime minister," he told AAP.

He'll address the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday in a speech focusing on job creation in regional Australia and improving connectivity between cities and regional areas.

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