Meanwhile, Transport Department director-general Michael Caltabiano's contract will be terminated next month.
But Mr Newman says the best way to judge the Liberal National Party (LNP) is the response to last month's floods.
"The test of a government is how it deals with a crisis. and i think it's appropriate i do say to Queenslanders that they've got a government that has performed well in a recent demanding crisis, come through. and that's because we do have a great team
Mr Newman also says fresh criticism of Ms Bates is off the mark.
The latest accusation against Ms Bates is that she appointed her friend Kaye Martin to the board of Screen Queensland.
Mr Newman says that appointment was not a problem.
"Just because someone knows myself or any member of the Government that disqualifies them? That's nonsense," he said.
However, Mr Newman says it was wrong he says for the board member to also be paid as a consultant.
"The issue at the moment in relation to Ms Martin is that she has taken a consultancy while being a director of a board," he said.
Ms Palaszczuk says the reshuffle is a blow to women.
"When I was a minister I sat around a Cabinet table where there were six women - what century are we living in?" he said.
"Why is this Premier taking Queensland backwards?
"There should be increased female representation in Cabinet, or at least they should have maintained the status quo."
Meanwhile, Mr Walker, Queensland's new Information Technology and Arts Minister, says he wants to put his own mark on the department.
"I'll look at everything as I take on that role - I'll do it carefully, I'll give it thought and then we'll push forward with this department, which I believe can be a key driver to the sorts of things the Government is doing," he said.
"The Premier is pretty clear - one thing he wants to happen certainly in the arts area is to get the arts out to regional Queensland.
"That's one thing that will be high on my agenda.
"He's made that very clear that that's a key thing to do and I'm keen to get out into the bush, to the rural and regional areas, and make sure arts are delivered there."