Australian PM Gillard announces new cabinet

CANBERRA, Sept 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Australian Prime Minister
Julia Gillard unveiled her new cabinet on Saturday, with Wayne
Swan retaining his treasury portfolio and former climate
minister Penny Wong moved to the senior finance portfolio.

Gillard also kept Martin Ferguson in the key resources and
energy portfolio, where he will be crucial to pushing through
plans for a 30 percent tax on the profits of big iron ore and
coal mines. [ID:nSGE687023]

In other changes, former union leader Greg Combet was
promoted into a cabinet position as Minister for Climate Change
to replace Wong.

Combet, a political trouble-shooter known for his
negotiating skills, faces the task of drawing up a plan to put
a price on carbon pollution, blamed for global warming, and
finding community consensus for action against climate change.

The new ministry is Gillard’s first chance to put her stamp
on the government since the ruling Labor Party dumped former
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in late June, as she made only minor
changes to the cabinet ahead of the Aug. 21 national elections.

Gillard last week secured a second term in office in the
aftermath of last month’s close election with the support of
three independents and a Green MP. Hers will be the first
minority government since World War Two, raising concerns the
administration will be unstable and may not run its full term.

In a bid to heal some of the internal tensions over her
move against Rudd, Gillard gave the former prime minister the
senior role of Foreign Minister in her new government.

Former Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was moved to defence,
where he will be responsible for policy on Afghanistan, where
Australia has around 1,600 troops. Former Small Business
Minister Craig Emerson becomes Trade Minister.
(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Australian PM Gillard announces new cabinet