Rudd unveils new-look cabinet, Crean retires, Coles to pay ACCC $60,000 for misleading price boards: Midday roundup

Simon Crean has become the latest member of parliament to resign after Kevin Rudd won the Labor leadership last week, with the returning Prime Minister also unveiling a new-look cabinet.

Crean has been a vocal critic of Julia Gillard, and called for a leadership spill earlier this year which Rudd then did not contest.

Meanwhile, Rudd has unveiled his new cabinet, promoting his backers while demoting long-time supporters of Julia Gillard.

The changes:

  • Anthony Albanese is the biggest winner of the day, becoming deputy prime minister and minister for communications and broadband. He also controls his infrastructure and transport portfolio.
  • Bill Shorten has been given education, added to his workplace relations portfolio
  • Kim Carr, a long-time supporter of Rudd and demoted under Gillard, has returned to the innovation portfolio.
  • Brendan O’Connor has lost immigration to Tony Burke, but has gained the employment, skills and training portfolios.
  • Joel Fitzgibbon is now minister for agriculture
  • Ed Husic and Alan Griffon have become parliament secretaries to the prime minister.
  • Chris Bowen is now the treasurer, a move announced last week.
  • Gillard supporter Penny Wong has maintained her position as Finance Minister.
  • David Bradbury remains as assistant treasurer, and has gained the financial services and superannuation.
  • Mark Butler has gained the climate change portfolio
  • Richard Marles has entered cabinet as trade minister, taking over from outgoing minister Craig Emerson
  • Rudd acknowledged Crean’s departure today, saying he has been “an extraordinary leader in our movement for a long time”.

Crean joins outgoing ministers Stephen Smith, Julia Gillard, Peter Garrett, Craig Emerson and Greg Combet, all of whom will not contest their seats in the upcoming election.

Coles pays ACCC infringement notice of $60,000 for misleading price boards

Supermarket giant Coles has paid six infringement notices to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission totalling more than $60,000 for misleading representations.

The company allegedly made misleading representations in five of its stores about the country of origin of its fresh produce between March 2013 and May 2013.

Coles paid a total of $61,200, although paying an infringement notice is not an admission of guilt.

The ACCC claims the signage gave the overall impression the imported produce was Australian grown, when it was not, despite the country of origin being correctly identified by stickers, packaging or under the display bin.

The consumer watchdog alleges this labelling was not sufficient to counter the overwhelming impression of the ‘Helping Australia Grow’ campaign imagery associated with the products.

Coles told the ACCC this conduct arose from the relocation of stock within stores without updating the promotional imagery on the price boards.

Shares fall after weak global leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning following poor performances on markets around the world late last week.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 83 points or 1.7% to 4,719 at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar edged up slightly from its 34-monthl of US91 cents.

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