Latest News:  


News Analysis: Rudd rewards supporters with cabinet positions

By Xu Haijing (Xinhua)

20:47, July 01, 2013

CANBERRA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd unveiled his new cabinet on Monday, filling out key positions left by resigned Julia Gillard supporters with his own caucus supporters.

Chris Bowen, already been sworn in as Treasurer, will take the portfolio of financial services and superannuation from Bill Shorten, who has a new portfolio of education in addition to his old portfolio of workplace relations. Powerbroker Shorten, who switched his support to Rudd from Gillard during last week's Labor power struggle, played a vital role in Rudd's return to the top job.

Australian Associated Press (AAP) said Short is a big winner in this cabinet re-lineup by taking on the education portfolio. "That makes him the chief salesman for Labor's schools funding reforms," AAP commented. School funding reform has been the most important policy Labor has been pushing under Gillard leadership.

Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who is also Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, will take on the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio vacated by key Gillard supporter, Stephen Conroy.

Joel Fitzgibbon, used to be chief party whip before the aborted Rudd challenge of party leadership in March, joins the cabinet as minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. He was defense minister in Rudd's first government but was demoted over a conflict of interest scandal.

Another key supporter of Rudd, Richard Marles, was promoted to take the portfolio of trade, replacing outgoing Gillard supporter Craig Emerson.

Kim Carr, who resigned as Minister for Human Services in March after the attempted March coup, is brought back to the cabinet as the minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and minister for Higher Education.

Rudd has also promoted three new women to cabinet, bringing the total number of women in cabinet to six.

Dennis Shanahan, political editor of the Australian newspaper, said Rudd has showed his concern of the rhetoric of gender politics. A conspicuous absence is Labor veteran Simon Crean, whose public calling for a spill of the Labor party leadership in March this year cost his cabinet post as minister for Regional Australia and minister for the Arts. Crean lost in the deputy party leader ballot cast to Albanese at the same caucus meeting which crowned Rudd party leader. Crean announced on Monday that he will quit politics at the upcoming federal election.

Rudd says his new team's top priority will be to keep the economy strong. "That's why I have assembled today a strong economic team, one with vastly more experience and vastly more competence than those we face opposite," he said. He praised his key economic team members, Treasurer Bowen and Minister for Finance Penny Wong, as very intelligent.

Shanahan said Rudd chose his team with a clear intention of distancing himself and his men from the old Gillard team. Latest Newspoll showed that Labor support increased from 29 percent on the weekend before the leadership change to 35 percent a week later, though still lingering behind the Opposition's 43 percent in primary vote.

On a two-party-preferred basis, the Opposition led with only two percentage points of 51 percent for the Opposition over 49 percent for Labor. The same poll showed that Rudd is clearly more popular than Opposition leader Tony Abbott, with 49 percent respondents referring Rudd as preferred prime minister to Abbott's 35 percent. It is widely expected that Rudd would announce an election date earlier than the currently scheduled Sept. 14. Polling results will give Rudd suggestion when to call the election.

We Recommend:

U.S. presidents and their pets

Highlights of 50th Int'l Paris Air Show

Best photos of week (June 17 - June 23)

Venezuelan Army School boat visits Cuba

Afghan refugees at UNHCR registration center

Beauty contest held in Budapest, Hungary

Angelina Jolie visits refugee camp

'Super moon' hangs in the sky over Rotterdam

LA' Chinatown sets up statue of Bruce Lee


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Officers and men in survival training

  2. Afghan army soldiers capture weapons

  3. Annual Gay Pride Parade held in Chicago

  4. Amazing skydiving tour in China's Liaoning

  5. Water-splashing festival in Changsha

  6. People flock to seashore to beat heat

  7. Crazed soccer fans at Confederations Cup

  8. FIFA's Confederations Cup Brazil 2013

  9. New high-speed rail opens in E China

  10. Largest int'l business market in NW China

Most Popular


  1. New features of the 5th Cross-Strait Forum
  2. Six questions about China’s space lecture
  3. Time to rethink taste for freshly killed poultry
  4. Inequality grinding the gears of growth engine
  5. Manila mulling wider access for US, Japan
  6. Marriages are made in heaven not in fairs
  7. China can curb credit crunch: ADB official
  8. As house prices rise, 'wild' theories thrive
  9. PBOC's caution amid cash crunch to pay off
  10. No pains, no gains for China's economy

What’s happening in China

Taiwan's average temperature in June reaches record high

  1. Stronger laws to protect personal information
  2. Ministry drafts child welfare system
  3. Dog killing brings harsh charges for owner
  4. Rain-triggered floods kill four in E China
  5. Downpours kill at least 14 in China