Shorten Announces ALP Shadow Ministry Portfolio Allocations

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced his allocation of portfolios for the ALP’s Shadow Ministry.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive.

A number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet have changed hands, although Chris Bowen remains Shadow Treasurer. The biggest winner of the reshuffle is the second-term MP Jim Chalmers, who has been made Shadow Minister for Finance and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

In other changes, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has been moved into the high-profile domestic portfolio of Education. The party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, takes Foreign Affairs.

Senator Kim Carr, for whom the shadow ministry has been expanded from 30 to 32, retains the portfolio of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Another significant change sees Michelle Rowland take over Communications, whilst Defence goes to Richard Marles and Senator Stephen Conroy takes on Special Minister of State and Sport. The relatively unknown Queenslander, Shayne Neumann, becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. [Read more…]


Minor Changes To Opposition Shadow Ministry; Dodson Promoted To Executive In First Week As A Senator

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has made a number of changes to his Shadow Ministry, including the promotion of just-appointed Senator Patrick Dodson

The changes are as a result of the parliamentary retirement of Gary Gray, (Brand-WA), who held the posts of Shadow Minister for Resources and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia.

The Resources portfolio goes to Jason Clare, (Blaxland-NSW). He will be assisted by new Shadow Assistant Minister for Resources, Jim Chalmers, (Rankin-Qld).

Shayne Neumann, (Blair-Qld), becomes Shadow Minister for Northern Australia.

The new Shadow Minister for Regional Communications will be Stephen Jones, (Throsby-NSW).

Senator Dodson (WA) becomes Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader. He took up his Senate seat three days ago. [Read more…]


Gillard Reshuffles Ministry; Supporters Promoted; Four New Ministers

In the aftermath of last week’s ALP leadership spill, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced her reshuffled ministry.

The new line-up was necessitated by the sacking of Simon Crean and the resignations of Chris Bowen, Martin Ferguson and Senator Kim Carr, and parliamentary secretary Richard Marles.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Gillard announced that Gary Gray will become Minister for Resources and Energy, replacing Martin Ferguson. He will be joined in the Cabinet by Jason Clare.

Anthony Albanese, a prominent Rudd supporter, takes on Simon Crean’s former responsibility for regional development and local government, in addition to his existing role as infrastructure and transport minister. [Read more…]


House of Representatives Debates Gay Marriage Resolution

An impressive debate began in the House of Representatives tonight on a motion by the Greens member, Adam Bandt, calling on parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Bandt’s motion reads:

That this House:

(1) notes there is:

(a) a growing list of countries that allow same-sex couples to marry including the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, SPain, Canada and South Africa; and

(b) widespread support for equal marriage in the Australian community; and

(2) calls on all parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Speaking to the motion, Bandt said, “there have been many attempts through history to limit love and all have failed”. The text of his speech is at the end of this page. [Read more…]