Rudd foreign minister in Gillard’s new cabinet

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard Saturday announced her new cabinet which includes former premier Kevin Rudd as foreign minister.

Gillard, who deposed Rudd in June, said her new ministry delivers on a promise to establish a portfolio dedicated to regional Australia, The Age reported.

The cabinet will include Simon Crean, previously responsible for education and workplace relations.

The announcement comes four days after the ruling Labor secured the support of two more independent MPs to form a minority government in the first hung federal parliament in 70 years.

Rudd will replace Stephen Smith, who has moved to defence. The new defence minister will be Labor’s third in three years.

In a surprise move, Penny Wong has got the finance portfolio left vacant by Lindsay Tanner when he retired from politics at the Aug 21 election.

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

Greg Combet has become climate change minister, a step up from his role as assistant to Wong.

Craig Emerson, one of Labor’s better media performers, also has been promoted to cabinet, taking over the trade portfolio for which Smith had responsibility since June.

Peter Garrett has retained his place in the cabinet despite being responsible for the botched home insulation scheme, but he has lost 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.

Mark Arbib, one of the factional power brokers responsible for bringing down Rudd, has not been rewarded with a cabinet position.

But Gillard said he would be given “greatly increased responsibilities” for indigenous employment and development, social housing and sport.

Chris Bowen has been appointed the new immigration minister replacing Chris Evans, who has got a jobs portfolio.

Filed under: Politics

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