Home Australia Labor leader Anthony Albanese announces frontbench in wake of federal election 2019

Labor leader Anthony Albanese announces frontbench in wake of federal election 2019


Former Labor leader Bill Shorten has been given the portfolios of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services in Labor’s new-look shadow ministry.

Mr Shorten’s replacement, Anthony Albanese, unveiled the frontbench shadow positions this afternoon.

“[Mr Shorten] of course made such an impact on Australians with his work on the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Mr Albanese said.

“He will hold the Government to account and make sure that it is people with disabilities who are at the centre of attention for that scheme as it is rolled out.”

Mr Albanese created a new portfolio to mirror the Government’s Home Affairs Department, which was given to new deputy leader in the Senate Kristina Keneally.

The former New South Wales premier has been elevated to Labor’s frontbench and has also been given the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio.

Following the announcement, Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said his new Labor counterpart was the least qualified person from her party for the job.

“[Senator Keneally] opposed turnbacks where they’re safe to do, which is the important central leg of Operation Sovereign Borders,” he said.

“She’s opposed to offshore processing. She’s opposed to permanent visas as we know, which was already the position of the Labor Party.

“There’s nobody less qualified in the Labor Party on border protection matters than Kristina Keneally and yet she’s ended up with the portfolio.”

Senator Keneally said in a tweet on Sunday that Labor fully supported “offshore processing, boat turnbacks where safe to do so, and regional resettlement”.

“Labor will also hold the Govt [sic] to account in Home Affairs, which a series of critical ANAO reports show is systemically flawed under Mr Dutton,” she tweeted.

Western Sydney MP Ed Husic stepped aside to allow Senator Keneally to join the party’s senior ranks.

South Australian senator Don Farrell lost his place as Labor’s deputy leader in the Senate to make room for Senator Keneally.

But he has maintained his portfolios of Special Minister of State, Sport and has had Tourism added to his list of responsibilities.

Victorian MP Richard Marles is the party’s new deputy leader and has been given responsibility for the Defence portfolio.

Mr Marles replaced Tanya Plibersek as deputy leader, who keeps her Education and Training portfolio, but loses the portfolio for Women.

The change comes after Ms Plibersek last month ruled out running for Labor leader, saying “now is not my time”.

Queensland MP Jim Chalmers picked up the role of Shadow Treasurer, replacing Chris Bowen who pulled out of the running for the Labor leadership just a day after announcing his candidacy.

Mr Chalmers said he was looking forward to taking on the “really important job”.

“In the people-facing part of the economy there is weakness as far as the eye can see,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Stagnant wages, weak consumption, underemployment, job insecurity — all feeding into weakness into the broader economy as well.

“These are the problems that have been largely ignored by the Morrison Liberal Government … we need to get the economy working for people.”

Meanwhile, Mr Bowen has been given the Health portfolio.

“This team has the talent and the experience to both hold the Morrison Government to account but also to ensure that we develop an alternative program to take to the next election in March 2022,” Mr Albanese said.

“A number of people with vast experience who’ve served in the Cabinet before but a refresh with new talent coming in.”

Four MPs, all women, have been elevated to the shadow cabinet.

In addition to Senator Keneally, senator Katy Gallagher becomes Labor’s spokeswomen for Finance and the Public Service.

West Australian MP Madeleine King has been given a “major promotion” with the portfolio of Trade.

Queensland MP Terri Butler takes on the role as the spokeswoman for Environment and Water.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Penny Wong maintains her Foreign Affairs portfolio, and Mark Butler has retained the Climate Change and Energy portfolio.

Albanese pleased with gender balance

Announcing his shadow ministry line-up, Mr Albanese said he was “very pleased” to have been able to achieve a gender balance.

Mr Albanese said his frontbench had 12 men and 12 women, “reflecting the balance in Australian society”.

This included 11 women in the shadow cabinet and senator Jenny McAllister, who has been given the shadow assistant minister role of shadow cabinet secretary.

The three most senior positions — party leader, deputy leader and shadow treasurer — are filled by men, which is the same for the Coalition’s counterparts.

Mr Morrison’s Cabinet includes seven women and 16 men.

“All [are] there on merit and I am very pleased that we have been able to achieve that balance when it comes to the leadership of two men and two women and the shadow Cabinet team of 12 men and 12 women,” the Opposition Leader added.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his new ministry last week, as the Coalition entered into its third straight term of government.

Labor’s shadow cabinet:

Anthony Albanese MP – Opposition Leader

Richard Marles MP – Deputy Opposition Leader, Defence

Senator Penny Wong – Opposition Leader in the Senate, Foreign Affairs

Senator Kristina Keneally, Deputy Opposition Leader in the Senate, Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship

Tony Burke MP – Industrial Relations, Arts

Bill Shorten MP – NDIS, Government Services

Tanya Plibersek MP – Education and Training

Jim Chalmers MP – Treasurer

Mark Butler MP – Climate Change and Energy

Chris Bowen MP – Health

Catherine King MP – Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Joel Fitzgibbon MP – Agriculture and Resources

Don Farrell MP – Special Minister of State, Sport, Tourism

Mark Dreyfus MP – Attorney-General, Constitutional Reform

Michelle Rowland MP – Communications

Senator Katy Gallagher – Finance, Public Service

Linda Burney MP – Families and Social Services, Indigenous Australians

Julie Collins MP – Ageing and Seniors, Women

Brendan O’Connor MP – Employment and Industry, Science, Small and Family business

Jason Clare MP – Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Housing and Homeless

Amanda Rishworth MP – Early Childhood Education, Youth

Terri Butler MP – Environment and Water

Madeleine King MP – Trade

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