by Alan Thornhill
The Opposition leader Bill Shorten spoke of his “education dream team” today, as he announced that Tanya Plibersek is to become shadow minister for education. in a reshuffle announced today.
Penny Wong, who previously held that post, will now become, labor’s shadow minister for foreign affairs,
These changes, effectively a swap, were the most important on Mr Shorten’s long list of new responsibilities.
Ms Plibersek also remains Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
She is one of Labor’s most effective speakers.
And her new appointment is being taken as a sign that Labor is planning to make education the spearhead of its next election campaign.
She will be supported by ministers with expanded responsibilities.
Mr Shorten said: “Kate Ellis will expand her responsibilities as the Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development to include TAFE and Vocational Education.
And “In addition to being Shadow Cabinet Secretary, Jacinta Collins will also be assisting Kate with Early Childhood.
“As a staunch advocate for blue-collar jobs, Doug Cameron will be the Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.”
Introducing his new team, Mr Shorten said: “education from the early years to schools, university and of course TAFE and vocational education, is a first-order economic and social priority for Labor in the 45th parliament.
” Investing in education is the key to Australia’s future prosperity, and it is one of the sharpest contrasts between us and the Turnbull Government.
” So I present to Australia, the education dream team: Tanya and Kate – supported by Doug, Jacinta, Terri and Andrew.”
Mr Shorten also said Penny Wong will continue as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and she will bring her considerable talents and intellect to the important post of Shadow Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
“Claire Moore will work alongside Penny as Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
“Stephen Conroy will remain Deputy Leader in the Senate and take on the new job of Shadow Special Minister of State, putting a new emphasis on scrutiny of government and the accountability of the executive. Stephen will also be the Shadow Minister for Sport
“It’s great to have a Collingwood supporter in that role at last.
“As I made clear during the campaign, Chris Bowen will continue to lead the economic debate as Shadow Treasurer.
“Andrew Leigh will serve as Shadow Assistant Treasurer, with additional responsibilities as Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity and Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits.
“Sam Dastyari will join the Shadow Ministry with the portfolio of Consumer Affairs.
“And Katy Gallagher will bring her wealth of experience to her new role as Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.
I’m combining these responsibilities to drive improved access to capital for small business and better accountability in our banking sector.
“This is a Cabinet position, as it should be.
“It deserves a heavy hitter, as Katy is.
“Julie Owens, representing the small business heartland of Parramatta, will be the Assistant Minister. Matt Thistlethwaite will be an Assistant Minister in the Treasury Portfolio.
“Jim Chalmers will enjoy a well-deserved promotion to join the Shadow Cabinet with responsibilities for Finance.”
Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill
A novel on the murder of seven young Anglican Christian Brothers in the Solomon Islands.
Available now on the iTunes store.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
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