A collection of new and experienced Labor politicians have been officially sworn in as part of the Prime Minister’s first ministry, with a number of history-making appointments.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s frontbench will include a record number of women in cabinet and in the outer ministry, as well as Australia’s first Muslim ministers.
While some in the ministry are returning to the frontbench after serving in ministerial roles during the last Labor government, others are joining straight from the backbench.
Today’s ceremony follows the swearing in of an interim ministry shortly after the election to enable the Prime Minister to attend the Quad leaders meeting in Japan.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Treasurer Jim Chalmers, minister for finance and minister for women Katy Gallagher as well as foreign affairs minister Penny Wong were also sworn in last week, along with Mr Albanese, and were re-sworn into their roles today.
Mr Marles has moved from employment to the defence portfolio.
Mr Albanese yesterday unveiled the rest of his cabinet and outer ministry, which included a shake-up in some of the key portfolios, in part due to the election losses of Terri Butler, who was set to become environment minister, and Kristina Keneally, who had the shadow home affairs portfolio.
The Prime Minister described the new ministry as being “as inclusive as Australia itself”.
Instead, Tanya Plibersek has moved from the education and women’s portfolio to be environment minister and Clare O’Neil has been named home affairs minister instead of her shadow aged care role.
While a record 10 of the 23 cabinet positions are filled by women, it is less than the 50-50 split that it was in Labor’s shadow cabinet.
Men once again also outnumber women for Labor’s leadership positions across the House of Representatives and Senate, with only one of the four roles filled by a woman – Penny Wong as Leader of the Senate.
In another first, Linda Burney has become the first Indigenous woman to become the minister for Indigenous Australians.
She received a loud round of applause after being sworn in, with Mr Albanese joking the crowd would have to stop, otherwise he would not be able to go on.
The ministry also includes the first Muslim ministers in Australian history.
New South Wales MP Ed Husic enters cabinet as industry and science minister and Western Australian MP Anne Aly is the minister for early childhood education and youth, which has been moved to the outer ministry.
The official swearing-in ceremony was not without a comedic moment, when someone in the small crowd’s phone began to ring with the INXS song You’re One of My Kind during NSW MP Kristy McBain’s oath.
The ceremony comes a day after the ABC projected Labor would pick up the seat of Gilmore, taking it to a total of 77 in the lower house, meaning it will be able to appoint a speaker and not lose its majority.
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