Federal Opposition Leader Reshuffles Front Bench

After considerable speculation in the media, the Federal Opposition Leader Mr. Kim Beazley today announced a reshuffle of his frontbench team. Mr. Beazley’s reshuffle represents the first change to Labor’s Shadow Ministry since Mr. Beazley assumed the Labor leadership following the former leader, Mr. Latham’s departure.

The major changes to Labor’s front bench are the following:

  • Mr. Lindsay Tanner goes on the front bench and assumes the key Finance portfolio.
  • Mr. Kevin Rudd takes on Trade in addition to his responsibilities for Foreign Affairs and International Security.
  • Mr. Tony Burke is moved from small business and takes up immigration. Responsibility for small business is passed onto Mr. Joel Fitzgibbon.
  • Mr. Laurie Ferguson loses immigration and takes on consumer affairs.
  • Mr. Anthony Albanese takes on responsibility for water, in addition to his responsibilities in the environment and heritage.
  • Mr. Robert McClelland’s portfolio is split, with Mr. McClleland handling defence alone, with homeland security moving to Mr, Arch Bevis and Defence Industry issues moved to Senator Mark Bishop.
  • Mr. Simon Crean is moved from Trade to Regional Development.

Mr. Beazley has also indicated that following Ms Annette Hurley taking her place in the new Senate after July 1, the Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs role will be filled. Ms Hurley is a former employee of Hawker Britton.

In addition to changing his front bench team, Mr. Beazley has announced the establishment of a key new Strategy Committee. Chaired by Mr. Beazley the committee comprises the following Shadow Ministers: Jenny Macklin, Senator Chris Evans, Senator Stephen Conroy, Anthony Albanese, Tony Burke, Martin Ferguson, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Nick Sherry, Stephen Smith, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner.

Labor’s National Security Committee, chaired by Mr. Beazley will be: Jenny Macklin, Senator Chris Evans, Senator Stephen Conroy, Arch Bevis, Senator Mark Bishop, Robert McClelland and Kevin Rudd.