Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gillard Announces Ministry

Prime Minister-elect Julia Gillard has announced her Ministry to start Labor's second term of government. It is, as you know, a minority government, dependent on The Greens and 3 Independent MP's.

You can read the full Ministry at . After swearing-in on Monday, they will be listed (via a link) at

There are some things worth noting:
  • Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minster, has been given Foreign affairs. That was widely tipped, following a deal made between him and Julia Gillard during the election campaign. It also recognises his standing within the Parliamentary Labor Party.
  • Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, has been given Defence. He insists it's not a demotion, and this is still a senior Ministry. It also paves the way for the government to drop construction of 12 new submarines at Adelaide. Defence military officials are not convinced that lessons have been learnt from the rather disastrous contracts for Collins-class submarines. Only one of the six is currently in service. The new submarines were a project which had the support of Kevin Rudd, when he was Prime Minister.
  • Peter Garrett has moved to Education, away from environmental repsonsibiities. He had problems with the home insulation scheme, in particular.
  • Former Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, has been given the Finance portfolio. Again, the former government had been unable to negotiate an Emissions Trading Scheme, which The Greens thought was too watered-down, and which was not the carbon-tax recommended by Prof. Ross Garnaut in he report for the government.
  • Mark Arbib and Bill Shorten are both in the outer Ministry. They were major players in the moves that dumped Kevin Rudd and appointed Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Mark Arbib was formerly ion the outer Ministry, but this is a promotion for Bill Shorten.
  • Independent Rob Oakeshott turned down the offer of a Ministerial position - Regional Australia & Regional Development. I think that was smart; among other reasons, it does put the onus, and responsibility squarely with Julia Gillard and the Labor Party, and it allows him to retain his independence.
Nevertheless, there seems to be reasonable correlation between Ministers' strengths, abilities and their portfolios. The proof, of course, will be in their performances.

Tony Abbott has yet to announce his Shadow Cabinet.