Australian PM announces new cabinet in Melbourne

12:30, September 11, 2010      

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Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks at a news conference in Melbourne Aug. 22, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters, File Photo)

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday announced her new cabinet for the Labor Government in next term, and said her new ministry delivers on a promise to establish a portfolio dedicated to regional Australia.

The announcement on Saturday came four days after Labor secured the support of two country independents to form minority government in the first hung federal parliament in 70 years.

In a press conference in Melbourne, Gillard announced the portfolio for regional Australia will be headed by Simon Crean, previously responsible for education and workplace relations.

Gillard earlier in the day announced former prime minister Kevin Rudd had been appointed foreign minister, replacing Stephen Smith, who moves to defense. Smith will be Labor's third defense minister in less than three years.

Penny Wong had been keen to move from the climate change portfolio following her failure to have parliament's upper house approve Labor's carbon pollution reduction scheme.

Senator Wong will now take the finance portfolio left vacant by Lindsay Tanner when he retired from federal politics at the Aug. 21 election.

Meanwhile, Gillard announced that Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions Greg Combet becomes climate change minister, a step up from his assistant role to Senator Wong.

Labor Member of Parliament (MP) Craig Emerson, also has been promoted to cabinet, taking over the trade portfolio for which Smith had responsibility since June.

Former Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett retains his place in cabinet despite being responsible for the botched home insulation scheme, but he loses the environment portfolio to take responsibility for schools, early childhood and youth.

"This is a special new responsibility for him," Gillard told reporters in Melbourne.

There are also four new ministers: Bill Shorten (Assistant treasurer and superannuation), Mark Butler (ageing), Jason Clare ( defence procurement) and Gary Gray (special minister of state).

"Shorten is a very talented member of parliament," Gillard said, adding he had done an outstanding job as parliament secretary for disabilities.

The previous ageing minister Justine Elliot has voluntarily stepped aside from her ministerial position to become parliamentary secretary for trade.

Gillard said she had not spoken to the three country independents about the appointment of Crean to the regional Australia portfolio.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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