Rudd’s new line-up mixes youth and experience

Craig Emerson has retained responsibility for small business, independent contractors and the service economy – and takes on a new task of assisting the Minister for Business Deregulation – in the new Labor ministry announced by Kevin Rudd today.

But Emerson will not be sitting in cabinet. He will merely assist the promised ‘minister for cutting red-tape’ the new Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, who does have a seat in cabinet.

Rudd announced some key changes to the line-up Labor took into the election, with Julia Gillard set to take on a mega portfolio combining industrial relations and education that Rudd said would encompass the “core elements of Labor’s productivity and participation plan for the future”.

Stephen Smith will become the new Foreign Affairs Minister, replacing Robert McClelland who will move into the Attorney-General portfolio. Anthony Albanese will also become a senior minister, taking on the infrastructure, transport, regional development and local government portfolio.

Peter Garrett will keep the environment and arts portfolio but lose primary responsibility for climate change and water, with responsibilities for those key areas going to South Australian Senator Penny Wong. Both Garrett and Wong will accompany Rudd to the Bali conference on Climate Change next month.

Ministers who retain the roles they held in opposition include Wayne Swan in treasury, Kim Carr in innovation, industry, science and research, Joel Fitzgibbon in defence, Nick Sherry in superannuation, Simon Crean in trade, Jenny Macklin in family, housing, community services and indigenous affairs, Nicola Roxon in health and ageing, Stephen Conroy in broadband and communication and Tanya Plibersek in housing and the status of women. 

Ministers with new responsibilities include Tony Burke in agriculture, fishing and forestry, Martin Ferguson in resources, energy and tourism and Chris Evans in Immigration.

Long-time Senator John Faulkner and 30-year-old Adelaide MP Kate Ellis are two notable inclusions, Faulkner becoming Cabinet Secretary and Ellis in youth affairs and sport.

Faulkner and Ellis will be joined by former NSW state minister Bob Debus, Northern Territory MP Warren Snowden, Justine Elliot from New South Wales and Brendan O’Connor from Victoria.

Making way for the new faces will be Arch Bevis, Jan McLucas, Kerry O’Brien, Kate Lundy.

The new Labor ministry will be sworn in by the Govenor-General in Canberra on Monday. 


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