Anthony Albanese is taking charge with massive cabinet reshuffle

Australia has new Climate, Health, Defence & Employment shadow ministers

Labor has had its problems for some time now. There have been speculations that Anthony Albanese will soon face a challenge to his leadership. Many Labor supporters believe Albanese has not been able to get enough traction amongst Australian voters and as a consequence of that a cloud has been hanging over Anthony Albanese’s head.

There are speculations Prime Minister Scott Morrison may go to polls in the second half of this year in order to consolidate governments economic recovery programs initiated in the post-COVID announcements.

All rolled into one, no wonder then – the opposition has been talking reshuffle of its shadow ministers’ responsibilities.

Finally, the leader of the opposition – Anthony Albanese had made changes to his shadow cabinet and this long-awaited shadow cabinet reshuffle has ended up much bigger and wider than anticipated.

Albanese has overhauled the climate portfolio and made substantial changes in defence, health, employment, resources and industry portfolios.

Labor has introduced new portfolios focusing on government accountability and national reconstruction, with all eyes on the opposition’s priorities and key personnel ahead of what is expected to be an election year.

Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles is a big winner with his new “super portfolio” under the title of ‘national reconstruction’, which will include employment, skills (taken away from Tanya Plibersek), small business and science. Albanese has reposed a lot in Richard Marles to lead Labor’s focus on the post-COVID economy.

Is this done to avoid any potential challenge from Marles, time will tell.

Brendan O’Connor will move into Mr Marles’ old portfolio of defence.

Kristina Keneally takes on a new responsibility of ‘government accountability’.

Ed Husic has moved into industry and innovation and Madeline King picks up resources.

Tanya Plibersek is the only shadow minister who has kept her portfolio and Climate spokesman Mark Butler has had a direct swap with shadow health minister Chris Bowen.

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In an attempt to dress up the leak (of direct swap), Mr Albanese said Mr Bowen was suitably qualified for the job.

“I regard it as an economic portfolio and therefore someone who has been the Treasurer of Australia is eminently qualified to fill that role,” Mr Albanese said.

Bowen as Climate shadow minister is seen by some experts as a dilution of Labor’s commitment to Climate portfolio. Not the case says Albanese.

 “Chris Bowen has a very strong position on climate change. I have a strong position on climate change. There is no way that a Labor Government that I lead won’t take action on climate change. Zero possibility,” Mr Albanese said.

“We will have a clear policy framework out there for all to see well before the election. It will be consistent with net zero by 2050.”

About Mark Butler Albanese said he thinks Mark Butler would “pick up very quickly” the new role.

Mr Albanese believes the changes give him “the strongest team to form an Albanese Labor government”.

“The easy choice to make is to not make many changes and just keep things as they are. I’m absolutely determined and events this year have reinforced my view that I will do the right thing, not necessarily the easy thing,” Mr Albanese said.

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