Australia PM Albanese appoints record number of women to diverse cabinet

Sydney, June 1 (BUS): Australia’s new federal ministry was sworn in on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appointing a record number of women to a diverse ministerial team that includes religious minorities and indigenous peoples.

A total of 10 women are included in Albanese’s 23-minister cabinet, surpassing seven women in the previous National Liberal coalition government led by Scott Morrison, Reuters reported.

Industry Minister Ed Husick and Youth Minister Ann Ali became Australia’s first Muslim federal minister at a ceremony in the national capital Canberra, while Linda Burnie, dressed in a kangaroo leather cloak, became the first Aboriginal woman to take over the Australian Indigenous Ministry.

Albanese formed a temporary cabinet, which included 4 other key members, two days after the May 21 elections so that he could attend the Quartet meeting in Tokyo, with US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Japan and India present.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles – who was part of the interim cabinet along with Penny Wong on foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers as treasurer and Katie Gallagher on finances – was named to the Defense portfolio.

Don Farrell is the new Commerce Secretary and Tanya Plibersek is the Environment Secretary, while Claire O’Neill will be in charge of internal affairs and Chris Bowen takes the power.

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten will be Minister of Government Services.

Albanese said on Tuesday that Labor would rule in its own right, taking 77 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives, allowing it to form a majority government without the support of climate-focused independents and the Greens.

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Securing a majority reduces the risk for Labor as it will have to negotiate with 16 MPs to pass the legislation, although it will still need to win additional support for the legislation in parliament’s upper house.

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